• Sweden edition
 
Docs let 15-year-old student cut into patient

Docs let 15-year-old student cut into patient

Published: 08 May 2012 09:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 May 2012 09:18 GMT+02:00

The student had previously had the opportunity to observe several surgeries as part of a practical work experience component common in many middle schools in Sweden.

However, on one occasion, the 15-year-old was handed a scalpel, bringing a new dimension to the "hands-on" nature of the unpaid work experience, referred to in Sweden by the acronym prao (praktisk arbetslivsorientering – 'practical work-life orientation').

"I don't know how deeply the prao cut, of it was a mere scrape or a cut several millimetres deep," Per Ekström, the supervisor of the attending doctor at Skåne University Hospital, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper..

According to Ekström, the doctor has since expressed regret over letting the untrained teenager handle a scalpel in an operating room.

The woman into whom the 15-year-old cut was aware that the student would be present for the operation, but had not been informed about the student's very active role in the surgery.

As she was under regional epidural anesthetic, the patient was awake when the student was given the opportunity to cut into her, but was unable to see exactly who was making the incision.

Ekström said the woman still doesn't know that the 15-year-old held the scalpel during her operation and she won't likely be informed.

"I don't think it would benefit anyone," he told the newspaper.

According to the hospital's regulations, no prao students under the age of 18 are allowed to be in an operating room.

However, other medical personnel in the operating room during the surgery didn't react negatively to the 15-year-old's presence.

"The staff thought it was pleasant that the prao was there and had an interest in the operation," said Ekström.

Nevertheless, the hospital does take the incident seriously, admitting that such incidents can harm people's faith in the Swedish healthcare system.

In addition, the hospital believes it has a responsibility to not place work experience students at the hospital in difficult situations.

But the hospital maintains the woman was never put at risk during the procedure, and thus has no plans to report the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

"What happened lacked judgment but the patient wasn't hurt or put at risk for injury," the hospital's chief doctor, Eva Ranklev Twetman, told Sydsvenskan.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

08:59 May 8, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
"such incidents can harm people's faith in the Swedish healthcare system."

Its difficult to 'harm' a 'faith' that many people probably never had to start with
10:08 May 8, 2012 by Keith #5083
"I don't think it would benefit anyone"...translated..she'll sue the s**t out of us!

She was not 'put at risk' by an untrained work experience youth cutting in to her. hmmm....seems like a course in risk assessment is needed by persons in authoritative positions! Or, just maybe we are being told that the 'supposed and much vaunted skills of surgeons' is actually just one big PR job to justify high salaries!

Take your pick
10:58 May 8, 2012 by Puddi
@Simon: There's not a lot of countries with better healthcare systems than Sweden :\ Sure, there's a lot of flaws, but we really can't complain here.
11:18 May 8, 2012 by JerseyTjej
Work experience is important, never more so in a position such as a surgeon. But at what cost? The student still has another 12 years before being trained to cut, so how much experience was gleaned here? Glad our pilot did not let his prao fly the aircraft on the trans-con flight.
11:20 May 8, 2012 by Frank Arbach
@Puddi

Suggest you do a search here of Swedish healthcare and related topics and find all those stories about, for example, 'no show ambulances', 'man wakes up during operation' etc etc.

But yeah - pleased for you if YOUR experience of using the Swedish healthcare system is positive.

Quite a few people on this site don't think it is very good.....
11:24 May 8, 2012 by libertarianism
Swedish Propaganda 101: Puddi MVG ++
15:33 May 8, 2012 by k2kats
Many patients insert a line in hospital contractual agreements that identifies the individual(s) that s/he has authorized to operate (by name and position), unless there is a bona fide emergency. IF that was not done in this case, it might be a good choice the next time 'round.
17:48 May 8, 2012 by blue2012
A total lack of judgement from doctors and staff in the surgical room.
08:53 May 9, 2012 by karex
@Puddi, I can think of 3: Thailand, India and Brazil - all third world countries. For shame Sweden!
16:57 May 9, 2012 by cogito
@Puddi (#3),

In addition to the three nations mentioned directly above, add France, USA, Italy, Spain, Germany,Switzerland, Canada...all have better healthcare than Sweden.

Swedish healthcare is a disgrace.
22:33 May 9, 2012 by dizzymoe33
I hope the patient is reading this so they can sue the heck out the hospital!!! This is wrong on so many levels and even worse the hospital is keeping it a secret!!
18:42 May 10, 2012 by Tamm O'Shanter
... Shame on all those who didn't mention the Cuban healthcare system! Its absolutely wonderful!!

...and the ambulances turn up when called, with patients generally feeling BETTER after treatment
00:13 May 11, 2012 by Da Goat
I think this is an excellent thing (is this blatant age discrimination?)

the youngster is keen to learn and is amongst the professionals (well I hope they are otherwise the kid is the expert) This young person may go on to become Sweden's top surgeon yet everyone is jumping on them (pi55 poor I say ...encouragement people)

you guys are all getting confused as the situation!
09:27 May 11, 2012 by Max Reaver
true, never had much faith in the system. just hope whenever i go to hospital here, they do their job for the time being.

da goat is making a relli nice joke here! hahahaha
Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

867
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN