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Swine flu infection threatens Swede's life

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Swine flu infection threatens Swede's life
10:50 CEST+02:00
Doctors at Vrinnevi Hospital in Norrköping in eastern Sweden fear for the life of the 22-year-old Swede being treated for a swine flu infection after he failed to respond to treatment.

The condition of the man, who became ill with the AH1N1 virus after a relative returned from holiday in southern Europe, is reported to have worsened overnight and is now described as life-threatening.

Chief physician at Vrinnevi, Christer Liedgren, said on Monday morning that treatment of the 22-year-old with a respirator had not worked and that he was going to be put on a heart-lung machine, so-called ECMO treatment.

ECMO treatment, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is however only available in Stockholm and staff from Karolinska University Hospital in Solna arrived in Norrköping at around 12.30pm to begin preparations.

"According to preliminary details the patient will later today be moved to the ECMO unit at Astrid Lindgren's Children's Hospital in Solna," Christer Liedgren told news agency TT.

The treatment pumps the patient's blood from the right side of the heart through the artificial lung which then supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. This idea is that the patient's lungs and/or heart can rest during the recovery period.

It is not known why the man's condition had worsened overnight and Liedgren confirmed that there had been no complications.

The 22-year-old man became ill on July 11th and was prescribed the anti-flu drug Tamiflu. The man, while no longer contagious, developed pneumonia as a result of the infection.

His case is described as the most serious yet of the new influenza in Sweden.

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