• Sweden's news in English
 
almadalen_header

Girl drinks herself to death in 'water poker'

Published: 06 Jul 2012 15:04 GMT+02:00

The girl had drunk six litres of water in the game, and was pronounced dead in her home town after being declared brain dead in Sweden following the incident.

The school children played the game on the Åland islands located between Sweden and Finland, with the rules being that the loser of each hand on poker had to down a whole glass of water.

The girl’s water intoxication was not noticed by teachers until they were making a head count of the students later in the evening.

“She sat on the toilet and vomited. She had drunk an enormous amount of water,” said Jukka Silvola, principal of the school, to the Aftonbladet newspaper, adding that the girl was “truly well-liked”.

The 12-year-old was immediately taken to a hospital in Åland capital of Mariehamn before being transferred to specialist ward of the Uppsala University Hospital the next morning.

There, the girl was declared brain dead and was taken to her hometown of Nystad in eastern Finland in May, where she died a few days later.

Johan Valtysson, head of the intensive care ward at the Uppsala hospital, explained how water intoxication can lead to fatal disturbances in brain functions.

“What happens when you drink too much water is that your blood is diluted and salt levels in the blood are increased,” he told the paper.

“The effect is that the water is drawn into the brain which then swells up due to the brain’s fluid accumulation. The blood flow is then cut off and you become brain dead.”

An adult should drink around two to three litres of water a day, and the 12-year-old is believed to have consumed six.

Meanwhile, Valtysson told the paper that he can’t fathom why anyone would play “water poker”.

“This is a truly dangerous game,” he said.

TT/The Local/og

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

Your comments about this article

17:33 July 6, 2012 by tadchem
"What happens when you drink too much water is that your blood is diluted and salt levels in the blood are increased," he told the paper.

Wrong. Salt levels are *decreased*. It is called 'hyponatremia.' Even water can be poisonous.

"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous." - Paracelsus, ca 1520.
17:41 July 6, 2012 by Paul_225
If she got a royal flush this wouldn't have happened. (Sorry).
18:23 July 6, 2012 by cattie
My son has a salt-losing congenital condition that causes hyponatremia. If the electolyte imbalance becomes too much, it leads to seizures, brain damage and then heart failure.
19:26 July 6, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Another sad tragedy. But my question is where were the adults? Was there no adult supervision?
21:19 July 6, 2012 by johan rebel
There is apparently no limit to the many new ways of natural selection that modern society can come up with.
22:12 July 6, 2012 by johnny1939
I always knew that water was bad for you.
00:21 July 7, 2012 by Rat bat
Oh dear, what a stupid game. I have heard of fatal water intakes in the past. Normally they have involved derranged or intoxicated people.

I guess that the osmotic effects started to make her cells burst
00:41 July 7, 2012 by suso
This is a tragic death which could have been avoided easily in the first place.Children have relatively small body mass and could easily get Water Intoxication.Almost all known cases of this syndrome in non-exercising otherwise normal individuals are recorded in circumstances of forced water drinking,and all too often in contests.

There should have been enough awareness of this condition all around.

but why that delay in recognizing the problem?surely she had symptoms and signs before her condition became irreversible.

she died at home.However,being a child who was previously healthy I would stayed her in the ICU for a longer period than for an adult,until all attempts,however meager,failed.

A bad reflection from many sides.
08:18 July 7, 2012 by playmobil
Very sad for the family.. Wondering now if someone gonna call for a ban on water after this tragic death..

Happy that everyone agrees strait away about the abuse of water being the cause of the death and not the water for once..

Usually, everyone forget about this concept of abuse and call for a ban of the substance in itself.. Yes aim talking about drugs.
14:08 July 8, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
It is sad that someone died at such a tender age. It has always been said that taking too much of something could be bad for your health.
11:45 July 9, 2012 by nolikegohome
water intoxication: headache, personality changes, changes in behavior, confusion, irritability, and drowsiness. These are sometimes followed by difficulty breathing during exertion, muscle weakness, twitching, or cramping, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and a dulled ability to perceive and interpret sensory information. As the condition persists papillary and vital signs may result including bradycardia and widened pulse pressure. The cells in the brain may swell to the point where blood flow is interrupted resulting in cerebral edema.

Had the teachers had noticed the early signs as mentioned above they should have stopped the girl from drinking water and or contacted the hospital. But then not many ppl know about this.
Today's headlines
Almedalen 2015 with the EU Commission in Sweden
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'

Sweden is grappling with how to handle a large influx of asylum seekers while some other EU nations brush off responsibility – but it's important to focus on the benefits of immigration as well, high-profile panelists agreed at an Almedalen event. READ  

Almedalen 2015
LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven
Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Seven

It's the seventh day of Almedalen, the most important week in Swedish politics, and the Left Party is running the show. The Local is live blogging the key moments. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Opposition head pledges lower taxes on first jobs
Sweden's Moderate party leader Anna Kinberg Batra at Almedalen. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Opposition head pledges lower taxes on first jobs

Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra spoke about jobs in her first speech at Almedalen since becoming head of Sweden's biggest opposition party. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Six
New Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra speaking at Almedalen. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Six

Anna Kinberg Batra - the new leader of Sweden's biggest opposition party, the Moderates - focused on job creation in her first speech at Almedalen, Sweden's huge week-long politics forum. READ  

Jump in solo children seeking Swedish asylum
A playground at Märsta immigration centre in Sweden. Maja Suslin/TT

Jump in solo children seeking Swedish asylum

A record 1447 unaccompanied children sought asylum in Sweden last month, figures from the Swedish Migration Board have revealed. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Cashless society faces backlash from losers
What are the downsides of a cashless society? Photo: Per Larsson/TT

Cashless society faces backlash from losers

Sweden is possibly the nearest thing the world has to a cashless society, but some Swedes are worried about the effects on rural areas, pensioners - and personal integrity. READ  

Almedalen 2015
Sweden's green leader in second Auschwitz gaffe
Åsa Romson at Sweden's Almedalen Week. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Sweden's green leader in second Auschwitz gaffe

UPDATED: Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister and Green Party leader Åsa Romson has stirred up a storm after she placed Auschwitz in southern Germany instead of Poland, her second gaffe about the holocaust. READ  

Oasis star calls Zlatan 'idiot' but 'likes Sweden'
Noel Gallagher performing earlier this year (L) and Sweden’s star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R): Photos: TT

Oasis star calls Zlatan 'idiot' but 'likes Sweden'

One of the UK’s most iconic Britpop era stars, Noel Gallagher, has caused a stir in Sweden after calling its star footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a ‘moron’ and slamming a Nordic journalist. READ  

Julian Assange
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Julian Assange following a court hearing in 2010. Photo: TT

Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden where he is facing sex assault allegations. The Local looks at the key points in his case so far. READ  

The Local Music
The Local's top Swedish songs of the month
Tove Lo - The Local's number one singer for July. Photo: Promo

The Local's top Swedish songs of the month

The Local's music guru, Paul Connolly, has been sweating over Sweden's hottest new music so you don't have to. Here's a selection of July's best tracks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Learning Swedish: different rules for expats and refugees?
Sport
IN PICTURES: Thousands welcome home Sweden’s heroes
Politics
Almedalen: The Local's guide to Sweden's power players week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Swedes soak up sun on hottest day of year
Sport
Sweden celebrates greatest sporting victory in decades
Blog updates

2 July

Som eller att (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! It happens quite often, that my students are confused over when to use “som” and when..." READ »

 

26 June

Editor’s blog, June 26th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, We’re about to transport our newsroom to the idyllic Swedish island of Gotland for..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: July 1st
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
National
Swede battles slug invasion
Sponsored Article
What can we learn from Swedish women's sex habits?
National
VIDEO: Is this herring tasting clip an 'insult to Sweden'?
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: New royal couple Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Features
Ten Swedish festivals to discover
Features
Ten reasons Stockholm is definitely way cooler than Copenhagen
National
VIDEO: Watch Swedish man rescue baby elk from cold creek
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
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

3,236
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se