• Sweden edition
 

Man dies after hospital mistakes stroke for drugs

Published: 16 Mar 2012 11:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Mar 2012 11:00 GMT+01:00

A Swedish man who had suffered a stroke later died in hospital after staff mistakenly thought he was on drugs, prompting the family to file a police report.

The man, Kenny Lindqvist, 58, had the stroke on February 8th and died of a cerebral hemorrhage five days later.

Lindqvist’s family is outraged by the treatment he received at the Gävle Hospital, and has called for police intervention, with the man’s daughter, Michaela Gästgivar, labelling the hospital’s treatment as “torture” according to the Expressen newspaper.

The man was allegedly brought to hospital with a drooping face and slurred speech. He was also acting confused, and was asked by hospital staff if he had been taking pills.

Lindqvist responded that he had taken paracetamol, as his friend had given the pain-relief drug to him, and staff subsequently put him on a drip, stating his condition as “under the influence of unknown substances” (oklar intox) in the medical logbook.

“But the test results show that he was not under the influence of anything. However, they continued to think he was intoxicated for three whole days. What drug makes someone worse and worse? If he was under the influence of something, he would have perked up,” Gästgivar told the paper.

To make matters worse, family members were told they were not allowed to visit Lindqvist in hospital because they were told there was a virus going around, and there was a risk of infection.

“We told them they’d need to get security to stop us,” said Gästgivar to Expressen, adding that they suspected a stroke when they heard the symptoms.

When the family was finally united again, the daughter claims they had to fight to get their father an x-ray, and were unable to spend time with him as hospital staff thought he had a virus too, based on the man’s previous complaints that he was feeling unwell.

The hospital allegedly claimed that they had too few staff to perform the x-ray, yet Michaela Gästgivar’s persistence resulted in hospital action.

Gästgivar told the paper that she and her family were also unable to ever say a proper goodbye to their father, as staff members were quick to “drag him” from their arms due to his perceived contagious virus.

The x-ray showed that Lindqvist had had two cerebral hemorrhages, and he was rushed to Uppsala University Hospital, where further treatment proved futile.

The 58-year-old was taken off life support on Monday the 13th February, five days after the stroke, and declared brain dead by staff. He died shortly after.

Uppsala doctors claim the death could have been prevented if earlier action was taken.

Prosecutors have reported that it is highly unusual for people to call the police when it comes to hospital care, but are looking into the case.

The hospital has reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) according to Lex Maria, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:57 March 16, 2012 by gabeltoon
This is an horrific story .It makes me think twice about ever visiting SWEDEN.
12:35 March 16, 2012 by karex
Butdget medicine. This is tragic.
12:39 March 16, 2012 by libertarianism
Nearly 100 stroke victims die or suffer serious disabilities in Sweden each year due to lack of proper care. Additionally, third of all stroke patients do not receive proper rehabilitation following their stroke.

sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=83&artikel=4494388

My thoughts are with the Lindqvist family...
12:51 March 16, 2012 by RobinHood
Quite right Gabeltoon, if you visit Sweden, you will surely die of medical negligence in less than a week. If you don't die of that, you will be shot by the police, or cut up by a machete wielding maniac.
13:23 March 16, 2012 by cattie
Treating for stroke at the beginning phases is not prohibitively expensive. Why should a stroke victim have to "prove" they are having a stroke?

Negligence and Malpractice.
14:20 March 16, 2012 by zooeden
No no worries about visiting Sweden gabeltoon, there is more awesomeness, but dont ever be in the situation that you need to call 911cause you been hit or some´n... There would be no ambulance, medical unwillingness, negligence and low costs, imagine a Virus going on, what Ebola??? but anyway come visit sweden!!!
15:44 March 16, 2012 by cogito
"...doctors claim the death could have been prevented if earlier action was taken."

But they had to fika first.
15:54 March 16, 2012 by graceolsson
Let me tell you one thing based on my experiences with doctors in Sweden. They don´t know many kind of ilnesses and I´m not who is telling that. I heard that afirmation from a Swedish doctor three months ago when I was in a meeting telling to the doctor that I had a stroke in 2007 when I was in Brazil and there the doctors discovered that my brain works very fast and suddenly stops. Last September, my husband brought me to the emergency in Sweden with the same reactions. I spent many days in the hospital without to know WHerE I Was. Tests and more tests shown that I was somewhere...My brain wasn´t in Sweden, they asked me the year, date, events of my life and I didn´t know anything at all. They took the liquid of my back and sample blood and 2 weeks later, the doctor called to my husband telling that the symptoms of dementia could be from syfilis. I was totally desperate because of that. My husband and my children went to the hospital and they took their blood sample and was negative. So...How could I had syfilis?Only if I´ve had a lover...And it wasn´t true. Then, the hospital sent a new sample of liquid of my back to Karolinska Institute in Stockholm to a second examination and it was negative. (Meanwhile I called to a doctor in Brazil and he said that it would be impossible I´ve syfilis if the liquid waas negative. 3 weeks later, I met the Infectionsklink and I was in panic. I heard an imigrant doctor with a very bad Swedish and without to speak anything at all in English telling me that I DON´T HAVE SYFILIS BUT I HAD.]

My husband asked her HOW COULD WE LIVE MANY YEARS TOGETHER AND I´M FREE AND YOU TELL US THAT GRACE HAS SYFILIS SOMEWHERE AND MORE THAN THAT, YOU don´t feel able to give the medicine?

After that conversation the doctor called to another doctor who called to another doctor and at the end of our meeting, they said us: GO HOME AND WAIT A LETTER. WE WILL SEND YOU TO THE HOSPITAL IN UPPSALA. WE DON´T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE. WE KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING BUT WHAT IT´S WE DON´T KNOW.

It happened couple of weeks ago and until now, we didn´t receive any letter. I´m still taking medicine when I´ve panic attack or I start to forget things.
15:59 March 16, 2012 by Flappytango
hey give the docs a break it easy to confuse a ~60 year old with a DROOPING FACE for being on;

Cannabis

DMT

LSD

Mescaline

Psilocybin

Methamphetamine

MDMA

Cocaine

Crack

Heroin

ISN'T IT???
16:00 March 16, 2012 by procrustes
The ever-ratcheting level of hospital horror stories began when the Moderates came into power. Hospital staffing used to error to the upside, now we have privatized old-folk's home staff playing games to see who can win the cheap prize. The Tele2 sheep would be proud.

Not surprisingly, the Swedish people get it and ole puppy dog eyes Reinfeldt will be history. There is much in the Swedish model that needs repair, and the Social Democrats have the right guy, finally, in place to do it. His biggest challenge will be not to slip back into 1970's socialism. The world has changed, and I hope he's savvy to the change.
16:11 March 16, 2012 by RobinHood
I agree with Procrustes. There was not a single case of medical negligence in Sweden until the Moderate party came to power. Once the Social Democrats win an election, medical negligence will once again fall to zero as doctors stop making mistakes.
16:37 March 16, 2012 by graceolsson
After bad experiences and while I´m waiting for a meeting in Uppsala, I did not see another way than to try natural medicine.
17:06 March 16, 2012 by Svensksmith
Any Obamacare fans out there? Pay attention to the above article.
17:19 March 16, 2012 by HYBRED
Is this the same wonderful Swedish healthcare system I have hard so much about?
19:15 March 16, 2012 by libertarianism
# 12, Grace, if you can at all afford to do so, *please* consider seeing a private doctor outside Sweden. Your life is too precious to chance!! Let your husband/family fight the system - so you can stay calm. :)

# 9, Bell's Palsy happens with stroke and Lyme disease (borrelia), right?

Otherwise, Swedish healthcare's greatest evils are perhaps attitude and money. Attitude in that apathy is horrifically pervasive. And there is a gross lack of personal responsibility and repercussions for *poor* performance. No carrot, no stick. Competitive pay with high standards and high accountability. Reward good people for jobs well-done. Dump the duds.

What then regarding money woes?? There may be private contracts, but it's the state that sets a rationed, below-par budget, right? They've promised too much to too many people and are unable to assess people's needs accurately. As a result, the sick and elderly are paying with their lives!!

Really though, how can Sossars fix the system (without stagnation)?

I don't know the solution. From my perspective, I see politicians culling the herd and buying new breeding stock. If you're not hereditary or political royalty, your life is grossly expendable. The life of the *individual* is worthless in Sweden. The powers-that-be care only about a taxable herd. It's horrific, and it will be horrific if this system is implemented in the U.S.

FYI, according to Socialstyrelsen, there is a shortage of specialized nurses who work as anesthesiologists, xray technicians, surgical, intensive care, and psychiatric nurses, midwives, and more… www.vardforbundet.se/Agenda/Pressrum/Pressmeddelanden/Fortsatt-brist-pa-specialistsjukskoterskor-konstaterar-Socialstyrelsen-idag/
19:24 March 16, 2012 by tadchem
I suggest the Swedish health care system upgrade its diagnostic procedures.

Add this case and the recent one involving a man having a heart attack who could not get emergency care due to a dispatcher.

I think Swedes would be better served by a random diagnosis generator.

Call it the Wheel of Misfortune.
20:48 March 16, 2012 by cogito
"Any Obamacare fans out there? Pay attention to the above article." (#13)

Svensksmith, You reading my mind?
23:35 March 16, 2012 by Swedishmyth
There is no competition and no accountability here. They will keep getting checks collected by state gunmen, so don't count on anything improving. After all, who needs customer service when customers are forced to pay either way? This applies to life and death (i.e. healthcare) as well.
02:24 March 17, 2012 by Imperor
The problems with dispatch arose since it was privatized, the problems with malpractice and negligence arose when healthcare was privatized. See the pattern? The "Moderates" are literally killing people over their retarded ideology!
09:39 March 17, 2012 by OUIJA
The never ending story.

I was at the Karolinska from August 25, 2010, up until February 15, 2011. Three by-passes in my left leg and 2 in the right one. Problem? The first by-pass was too long (i centimeters) and with a second by-pass, they cut the 8 centimeters. The second by-pass got seriously infected by a virus caught at the hospital, and a wonderful and magnificent female doctor saved my leg by performing a third by-pass. My right leg had a 20 centimeters sten and they found out that it was 5 centimeters short. Second by-pass and now it seems to function. I developed a linfatic liquid bubble in my left leg. It became infected. A male doctor at the Karolinska cut the bubble while his female colleague said that it was a "normal" infection. My wife demanded antibiotics for me and it was the only way I got them. The infection turned out to be a very serious one. Next day, another surgery because the first one was poorly performed. Two days later, the doctor that saved my left leg, saw the surgery of the linfatic liquid bubble and said: "No way. This is poorly done". A third surgery and now it looks O.K.

The Karolinska converted me into a ping pong ball. They sent me 4 times to a rehabilitation center and the rehabilitation center sent me back to the Karolinska because I was not ready for rehabilitation. I WAS HAVING PROBLEMS WITH MY LEGS.

We shall see what we shall see.

Only, and I repeat, only, if you are forced to go to a Swedish hospital, go. If not or if you have the means to go to another country to save your life, do it. The expenses should be worth.
10:07 March 17, 2012 by fairView
Really it is trouble to go to swedish health center or hospital. To ge a doctor u should to wait more than a week. When u meet the doc, he need advice from u rather than giving advice to u. I always disappointed with them. Even in africa u can get good treatement as long as u have money
13:47 March 17, 2012 by OUIJA
My wife lectures about diabetes to all the so/called specialists (Endocrinologists and nurses) we have met since I got the disease back in July 2000.

We have been received by specialists who have not the faintest idea of the type of food and medicines a diabetic should have.

And why does my wife lectures them (question mark) Simply because she has made a career in studyng everything related to diabetes and good eating. She is a walking encyclopedia in these subjects. I am not kidding. A walking encyclopedia.
09:15 March 18, 2012 by Jacob Njoroge
I thought I was the only one hanging with a BIG wonder about hospitals here in Sweden but there is a chain of news now and then about negligence and inhospitality with some docs in Sweden.You cant depend on them totally coz you will die of your ailment and frustration as they will always send you back home to go and wait for a letter which may or never come.I wonder if there are any nationalities especially in the third world countries who would dare come to Sweden for further medications.they are worse than even docs in pooor countries....Bad party in power,time for change!!!
20:03 March 18, 2012 by OUIJA
#24

You are completely right. The deterioration of the Health System started with the Moderates, especially with the Pippa la Pippa Reinfeldt. I wonder if the Social Democrats come back in to power and can fix the Pippa la Pippa stupidities. Good for Rainfield to get rid of her, or did he? One wonders.
20:49 March 20, 2012 by libertarianism
Grace #8,

I stumbled across something that said Lupus can give a false positive test for syphilis... Lupus is supposed to be difficult to diagnose, and affects mostly women...
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