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Clinic 'forgot' baby due to summer holidays

The Local/dl · 6 Apr 2011, 09:09

Published: 06 Apr 2011 09:09 GMT+02:00

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Within four months of the child's birth in late 2009, health workers at a local paediatric clinic in Linköping in central Sweden noticed that the baby's growth wasn't progressing normally.

A specialist was called in and determined that the child was suffering from malnutrition, causing it to lose weight.

The local clinic informed the family that it needed to adjust the child's diet, promising to follow up with special counseling sessions and additional weight controls.

But the additional measures never took place in part because the clinic was unstaffed during the summer holiday period and no one was assigned to follow up on the baby's condition.

A home visit was finally carried out by a nurse from the clinic in September 2010, by which time the infant was ten months old.

After further tests were carried out six days later, the decision was taken to rush the child to the paediatric ward of a nearby hospital, where it received care for the next two weeks.

The same day the child was hospitalised, the incident was reported to Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

In its review of the incident, the agency found it "remarkable that no further report was made to others at the paediatric clinic to follow the growth curve during the holiday period".

Story continues below…

Nevertheless, the health board refrained from any formal reprimand, finding that the clinic had already taken appropriate measures to ensure a similar incident wouldn't happen again.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:49 April 6, 2011 by fishpicks
This is all SO Swedish.

Someone gets over due to holiday/weekend.

No one gets fired, even disciplined, for this idiocy.

Sweden will never change.
10:07 April 6, 2011 by Keith #5083
We all make mistakes. Let us all hope that we are judged not by the mistakes but by the way in which we correct it.

It would be very,very rare indeed for a dedicated carer not to be deeply shocked by this error.
10:28 April 6, 2011 by StockholmSam
The problem, Keith, is that this happens very often in Sweden which indicates that the problem is not being corrected. Therefore, plenty of room for indictment on the way in which this mistake (and all the others like it) have been "corrected."
10:47 April 6, 2011 by Scott McCoy
once again Swedish stupidity takes center stage.
11:00 April 6, 2011 by bocale1
"this happens very often in Sweden"... and based on what statistics you say so?

In many western countries, you would not have even read about this case at all and everything would have been managed internally, with even less care.

Stop blaming Sweden for what is actually very human and common behavior...
11:06 April 6, 2011 by JulieLou40
Nobody has mentioned the parents. Shouldn't they take primary responsibility for not adequately feeding their child???
11:13 April 6, 2011 by SouthAfrican_in_Sweden
Very true that this is "so Swedish" since:

- There is a health care system open to everyone for free (unlike many countries where clinics are not accessible)

- Mistakes are reported

- The media are free to report these mistakes

- Most mistakes does not lead to death

Very bad to be in such a place I agree but I would like to know where these places are where no stupid people exist and no mistakes are made?
11:44 April 6, 2011 by zooeden
Tell me something new!!!
11:47 April 6, 2011 by Shibumi
There IS something specifically Swedish about this. I have been working in Sweden for 4 years now and although there is no question of life or death in my company, everything slows down in the summer and the service we offer our global customers suffers significantly. We KNOW this will happen every year and management does NOTHING to mitigate the situation. The "it's July... nothing we can do about it" attitude is pervasive iand only leads to shrugged shoulders. It's maddening, but being able to have all of July off work seems to be sacred in Sweden.

In the case of a clinic, it is unforgivable to not put measures in place to cover for "it's July" when everyone knows July happens EVERY YEAR. This WAS preventable.


Same situation in France where some companies actually close for all of August and employees are forced to take their holidays during high season even if they do not want to.
11:59 April 6, 2011 by mccoy
this is typical Swedish

Typical Swedish bashing when it shouldn't be the government that is getting bashed.

What hell were the parents doing not feeding their kid enough food.

the parents should be getting trouble.

Yes the clinic should have followed up faster than they did.

But the bad thing about this is the parents were starving their child that they supposedly loved and cared about.

Only in Sweden have i seen people more sickened about health care not following up and less sickened that parents could starve their child.

Typical Swedish is they were probably starving their kid so the kid would be super skinny.
12:58 April 6, 2011 by Keith #5083

I am with bocale1 in asking you to provide hard statistical facts instead of disgruntled innuendo.

#South African_in_Sweden makes some very valid points (although the health service is not entirely free for everyone).

"...had already taken appropriate measures to ensure a similar incident wouldn't happen again." seems to take adequate preventative care.

The fact remains, in my humble opinion, that standards are very high in Sweden and when on the rare occasion it happens that a breach of those standards occurs, much is done to try and ensure it cannot happen again.

It is good for folks to complain in order that these high standards can be further improved. The remakable thing is that in Sweden that such complaints are actually taken notice of! For me, that speaks highly of the Swedish standards.
15:02 April 6, 2011 by calebian22
Personal responsibility is reduced when the government does all your thinking for you. There are a lot of advantages to be found in Sweden. A high level of personal responsibility is not one of them.
17:31 April 6, 2011 by Syftfel
The social dems should be ashamed of themselves! This is an example of the unacceptable power of the unions in Sweden. "Union rules are union rules, and they can not be violated". Even if a child's well being at stake. So says LO. Crush the unions now! And take back Sweden from the lazy, uninspired socialists.
20:53 April 6, 2011 by fishpicks
i guess i should have formulated myself better but i think #9 did that for me.
14:04 April 7, 2011 by RitaPita
Lack of communication is quite strong in this country.... too bad it can affect infants' lives...
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