• 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

A 15-year-old student was allowed to slice into woman's belly without her knowledge during a caesarian section operation at a hospital in Malmö in southern Sweden.

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school
A child, unrelated to the story, on her computer. File photo: TT

Swedish kids crack adult content 'code' at school

Swedish parents who busted their children looking at adult content online were shocked to find the kids saying 'they'd learned the code at school'. READ () »

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit
A file image of ballbearings. Photo: Shutterstock

Industry bellwether SKF recovers to turn profit

After a drab end to 2013, Swedish ballbearing makers SKF anew posted a profit in its first quarter review. It could spell good news for the manufacturing industry worldwide. READ () »

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case
Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt. File photo: TT

Swedish Hobbit actor jailed in cocaine case

Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has appealed a five-month prison sentence, handed down on Tuesday after he was found guilty of buying cocaine. READ () »

Property of the Week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
The property in Skinskatteberg. Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

The Swedish countryside is littered with small second homes, many up for a steal if you can see beyond dated wallpaper and imagine a country retreat with chanterelles and lingonberries growing in your backyard. READ () »

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid
A chihuahua papillon crossbreed puppy. File photo: Shutterstock

Puppies lost in 'black market' chihuahua raid

Thieves escaped from a flat in Malmö on Monday with jewellery, electronics, and four chihuahua-papillon puppies. Police worry the dogs will be sold on the black market, a growing trend in Sweden. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

Sweden's worst office clichés revealed

"We have to hit the brakes and the gas at the same time." Does your Swedish boss confuse you? You're not alone. Swedes have crowned that phrase as the worst workplace cliché of the year. READ () »

More Swedes want to join Nato

More Swedes want to join Nato

Almost one in three Swedes support joining Nato, compared with just 17 percent in 2013, a survey revealed on Tuesday. The sentiment was echoed by the Finnish Prime Minister. READ () »

Elections 2014
Is the PM overstaying his welcome?
Kinberg Batra (L) next to the prime minister. File photo: TT

Is the PM overstaying his welcome?

Seen both as a statesman and a normal guy, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has a solid standing, despite his government's poor poll ratings. But have the Moderates prepared for life post-Reinfeldt? And does his successor matter to the voters? READ () »

Op-Ed
'Six-hour work day will hurt Sweden'

'Six-hour work day will hurt Sweden'

The six hour workday would punish employers who already struggle to find competent staff. And if parts of the economy slow down, so will industries reliant on them, argues liberal commentator Nima Sanandaji. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

721
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