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Staff concerns plague Sweden's swine flu planning

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08:51 CEST+02:00
There is a sufficient number of respirators in Sweden's 21 counties to handle the care of the patients who have been infected by swine flu.

But an audit done by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) reveals there may not be enough trained staff members who can operate the machines, according to, Sveriges Radio (SR) reports.

Resources are also extremely limited when it comes to heart-lung machines similar to the one currently being used to treat a 22-year-old man at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna near Stockholm.

The man is critically ill after being infected with the swine flu and was moved to Karolinska after failing to respond to treatment elsewhere.

If several individuals needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment, patients would likely have to be transported abroad.

ECMO treatment in Sweden is currently only available in Stockholm at Karolinska University Hospital.

The treatment involves pumping the patient's blood from the right side of the heart through the artificial lung, which then supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. It is used when patients fail to respond to treatment with a respirator.

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