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Swine flu Brit flown to Sweden for care

AFP/The Local · 24 Jul 2009, 11:18

Published: 24 Jul 2009 11:18 GMT+02:00

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The 26-year-old woman, a native of Scotland, needed treatment that involves pumping the patient's blood through a machine which artificially adds oxygen.

There are five specialist beds in Britain for the technique, known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), at a hospital in Leicester, central England, but they are currently all taken, so officials decided to fly the woman to Stockholm instead.

She is now receiving treatment at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, north of the Swedish capital.

"Once an ECMO bed was identified in Sweden, our intensive care specialists worked closely with our Swedish colleagues to make sure the patient was stable before being transferred," said Robert Masterton, executive director of her local National Health Service board in Ayrshire and Arran, western Scotland.

Officials said Thursday that there were around 100,000 new cases of swine flu in England last week as a new website and telephone service was launched to help people identify symptoms and receive drugs.

The government reported "unprecedented demand" for the site, which received around 2,600 hits per second or 9.3 million an hour on its first day Thursday, and was briefly overloaded.

Some 30 deaths have been linked to swine flu in Britain, which has been hit harder than any other European country by the A(H1N1) virus.

Story continues below…

Scotland's Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC: "She's now getting treatment that gives her the best possible chance of survival."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:57 July 24, 2009 by skane refugee
Scotland's Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC: "She's now getting treatment that gives her the best possible chance of survival."

Have they missed all the recent stories about botched Swedish healthcare?!? ;o)
12:56 July 24, 2009 by Nemesis
As someone who has been in hospital in Ireland, UK and Sweden, I will take the Swedish healthcare anyday.

Swedish healthcare has its problems, but on average it is significantly better than the UK and Ireland.
13:14 July 24, 2009 by Puffin
Hope that both she and her unborn baby recover from this
14:58 July 24, 2009 by si
I dunno, I'd pick UK healthcare - trying to see a doctor in sweden is a bit like trying to get through security without a backstage pass...
02:23 July 25, 2009 by xykat
I had swine flu after visiting relatives in America.

The Swedish health care system really did nothing to help me. They did not even give me medicine for it. They gave my Swedish boyfriend medicine but not me. I also had a touch of pnemonia along with it and they did nothing to treat that. Luckily with rest I survived it.

They did even catch the fact that I had pnemonia along with my swine flu. It took Danderyd and Karolinska 3-4 days to even tell me if I had it.

If I were that woman I would rather take my chances with the British health care system.
02:31 July 25, 2009 by Puffin
If she had stayed in the UK system - both she and the baby would be dead - all of the UKs artificial lung machines where blood is oxygenated outside of the body are in use - this was the reason she was moved to Karolinska

For most people the Swine flu is like the ordinary fllu - it's only those with health problems that benefit from tamiflu treatment - doling out these drugs like sweets to the "worried well"- as the UK is doing by using telephone diagnosis by admin staff - is increasing the risk that a drug resistant strain will develop
22:21 July 25, 2009 by xykat
I do not go to the doctor reqylarly but I do tend to get flu's pretty badly. I knew I was sick because I felt bad on the plane when I was on on my way back. My complaint against Danderyd and Karolinska was that they took so long to diagnos what I had, and they did not treat my pnemonia. I sounded like an 90 year old woman with breathing problems. Lucily it didn't get worse and even at the age of 41 I still had a strong body to fight it off. Also about 7 years ago Danderyd Sjukhus reset my broken wrist incorrectly. They never used a cast. A doctor in Umea said I would have to rebreak my wrist to straighten it out.

I haven't started formally complaining about these instances but now I will start to. I think Swedish doctors and medical staff.should be punished in some way if they make serious mistakes that will effect people for the rest of their lives. One of my wrists is slightly deformed because of the fact that they never gave me a cast when I broke it.
23:18 July 25, 2009 by Puffin
If you want to make a claim about healthcare staff then this is the address:

Hälso- och sjukvårdens ansvarsnämnd (HSAN)

Box 3539 103 69 Stockholm

Besöksadress: Teknologgatan 8 C, Stockholm

Expeditionstid: 9-12, 13-15

Tel:08-508 861 00

Fax: 08-508 861 90

E-post: hsan@hsan.se

If you think that you might be entitled to compensation as a result of incorrect treatment then all residents of sweden are covered by no fault patient insurance

15:15 July 26, 2009 by xykat
Thanks for the info...

I don't care to have compensation but it would be nice to get a little justice or at least my wrist fixed. Luckily its not on my primary hand.
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