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Swedish doc tore baby's windpipe during delivery

TT/Rebecca Martin · 6 May 2011, 17:32

Published: 06 May 2011 17:32 GMT+02:00

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“When the baby crowned she gripped it, yanked and pulled. I was shocked but understood something was wrong. You can’t pull a baby neck like that,” father Christopher Rung Svensson said to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The birthing experience of Svensson and partner Nelma de Cruz did not turn out the way they had expected.

After a drawn out ordeal, de Cruz was too weak to push and a specialist was called. She decided that the baby would be delivered with a vacuum extractor.

As soon as the head was out, the stunned father witnessed how the specialist took hold of the newborn and proceeded to pull violently at the baby’s neck.

“I thought ‘no neck can take that much force’," said Rung Svensson to daily Aftonbladet.

As soon as baby Felicia was delivered, the specialist rushed out of the room and the couple didn’t see her again until much later.

According to Rung Svensson, the rest of the staff present were as shocked as he and his partner. Shortly after it was discovered that Felicia was experiencing breathing difficulties.

They tried to intubate but Felicia’s injuries made it impossible. Instead, other parts of her body became grotesquely inflated.

“She tried to cry, but her torn vocal cords made it impossible. In the end she turned blue," Rung Svensson told DN.

After several attempts to resuscitate Felicia she was finally brought by ambulance to the ECMO-unit at another Stockholm hospital, where they were able to oxygenize her blood through an artificial lung.

It was later discovered that apart from her torn windpipe she had suffered multiple brain haemorrhages. The family had to stay in hospital for a month.

The staff at Danderyd's hospital in Stockholm have reported the case to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) according to Sweden's Lex Maria laws, the informal name used to refer to regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

The specialist has already resigned from the hospital where she had been working for eleven years.

It is too early to say what this will mean for baby Felicia in the future.

Story continues below…

“Of course we are very worried. It was a terrible trauma for her and we have no idea how much the lack of oxygen and haemorrhages may have affected her, but everything is healing remarkably well so we are hoping for the best,” Rung Svensson told DN.

So far the new parents are just enjoying having their baby home.

“I am just really pleased it has turned out okay, that she is home and seems to be doing alright,” said de Cruz to Aftonbladet.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:31 May 6, 2011 by Syftfel
As ususal, I demand to know what medical school this Swedish doctor graduated from. Does Aftonbladet have this information? Thank you.
16:57 May 6, 2011 by Shahzeb
People do mistake, no one is perfect, but when mistakes are made in medical profession, they turn out to be life threatening, that's why extra extra carefulness is required. I am a father and have a small baby too, so i can understand how the new parents must have felt when their small baby was not feeling well.

I really hope after all this the little baby goes on to be completely healed and enjoy's life as any other kid.
18:33 May 6, 2011 by Swedesmith
Is this the same doctor who performed the circumcision on Michael Jackson?
22:22 May 6, 2011 by wxman
Apparently this doctor performs more abortions than births.
23:04 May 6, 2011 by expatjourno
Foreign trained.
03:12 May 7, 2011 by Grokh
Ban him for malpractise.
03:18 May 7, 2011 by RitaPita

You clearly are an idiot. Only in this country have I seen where doctors graduate on a "pass/fail" level.

You can barely pass are be a horrible doctor.... hence the results explained above.

If you want to troll a comment like yours, at least have the balls to back it up with some level of logic.
08:37 May 7, 2011 by Decedo

I totally agree. The education grading system is a total joke here. Students can decide if they are 'in the right mood' to take a test, and if not defer it till later, and then with the pass/fail system they can keep taking it until they reach the 'pass' mark. I was floored when I learned of this from some Chalmers friends.
10:07 May 7, 2011 by Russ Cobleigh
mistakes are made every day, but usually consequences follow! Here in Sweden the doctors have NO-FAULT insurance, so they can not be held liable and therefore are not quite as careful. I have had my own problems here and even though the health care is better than the united states, there is a need for the service to be a little more caring. Of course this is my own opinion and we all know what opinions are like.
11:33 May 7, 2011 by johnny1939
Gross negligence!!! That doctor should be severely reprimanded and should have to redo delivery training. If the the delivery was so long and exhausting why was the mother not delivered by cesaerian? Too expensive probably. I do pray bab y Felicia is 100% ok and I hope that she does not remember anything of this nightmare.
12:24 May 7, 2011 by Michael84
This is frightening. and a tad surprising! why a tad? because I underwent some leg surgery recently by a mistake!! yeah a mistake! he thought I needed it and I didn't! that's not the worst part of it though. they messed up my operation schedule time, leaving me with off IV, cutting so much while could cut a bit only leaving a big ugly mark there and... and HEY! both docs, the one who said I needed the operation and the surgeon were both Swedish by blood. and one worse than the other. this last part was for those who are still leaving in 16th century.
13:25 May 7, 2011 by swedejane
Oh yay, our weekly article about incompetence in the healthcare industry...I swear, if I ever need a doctor for anything I'm on the first plane back to NYC.
17:57 May 7, 2011 by glamelixir
When I needed a doctor in Sweden I was diagnosed with "nothing important, take a diclofenac for whatever you have". When I went back home and described the situation to the doctors the first of all ordered studies and started working on the possibility of me having had an epileptic seizure.

They were in shock when they discovered that in the land of the Karolinska insitutet, they would have send home a patient without further studies after this.

If you need a doctor ... run away from here.

One more thing. Wasn't it said in the moderaterna campaignt that Danderyd hospital would remain public? I think that Lady Reinfeldt needs to give us some explanations about its recently become private status...

Oh, and for the record...it seems that her decision did not help much in improving the quality, only in taking our tax money to private capitals instead of public,
23:28 May 7, 2011 by jamesblish
"Here in Sweden the doctors have NO-FAULT insurance, so they can not be held liable and therefore are not quite as careful"

You seem very confident that one thing leads to the other. I take it you have a source to back up your claim?
06:59 May 9, 2011 by Da Goat
The wind pipe can be blamed on this doctor (you can pull quite hard but must pull steady not jerking, common sense) the brain haemorrhages can be blamed on the labour if it is too long and the mother has run out of push (blood goes into the head and can't return to the body so builds up a lot of pressure)

I had this experience only this last week I had a calf that I did not get to in time (while I was at work) it's tongue had gone bright red from blood pressure so I simply reached in untucked the leg that was stuck and looped a rope onto both legs and leant back and he slid out easy as pie! it took a whole hour for the mum to recover and the calf was up and about soon after but sadly died two days later .

first 12 hours he was fine then he just went into more and more brain damaged state as time went on, then slipped away during the night,

my guess is the specialist was too keen because she feared brain damage or similar . The good news is the baby was repaired and is fine now. so she did the right thing on one hand and wrong on the other! she saved its life (tried) but broke it doing so!
20:06 May 12, 2011 by Icarusty
The mother's surname was de Cruz i.e. foreign. No doubt the doctor would have taken more care if the mother was a blonde, blue eyed Swedish Aryan
03:16 May 13, 2011 by Da Goat
I was not comparing cows with humans it was the principle involved I was alluding too, the being in the birth canal too long constricts blood return to the body! normally animals don't spend to long here they tend to be pushed thru and them pop out like a cork (metaphorical) once the front end is out they come reasonably easy.

yes this case is rather sad for everyone

the doc realised straight away she had made a mistake which is good !
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