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Swedish pharmacy jabs 12 with same needle

TT/Rebecca Martin · 12 May 2011, 09:49

Published: 12 May 2011 09:49 GMT+02:00

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“It was the human factor that caused it,“ Märit Wikström, head of information, at Doc Morris told medical journal Dagens Medicin.

The incidents occurred between the 12th and 13th of April when a local branch of the newly opened branch of pharmacy chain Doc Morris in Stockholm suburb Sollentuna offered the free service to customers as part of a marketing drive for the new test.

With the help of a blood test customers were given an opportunity to find out haemoglobin and glucose levels in their blood.

“The skin was pierced with the help of a lancet, but for twelve people an old needle was mistakenly used,” Wikström said to Dagens Medicin.

Unqualified personnel used the same lancet on twelve people before it was discovered and stopped.

On the advice of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) and the Stockholm County Council (Stockholms Läns Landsting) the pharmacy is now trying to get in touch with customers that could have been affected.

“This is very unpleasant and we are recommending that these people are offered vaccinations, against jaundice among other things,” said Mona Hansson, of the National Board of Health and Welfare to Dagens Medicin.

But according to Märit Wikström, the chance of having caught something is ‘miniscule’.

Just to make sure, however, the company has tried to get in contact with the twelve people that hypothetically could have been affected, by putting up a note in the branch in question. So far, only one person has been in touch.

Wikström doesn’t think that it is relevant that it was unqualified personnel

Story continues below…

who conducted the tests.

“There is nothing that says that staff must be qualified. What is important is that they are given the proper training, and they had been,” she said to Dagens Medicin.

According to Wikström, the importance of changing needles had been part of the training.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:46 May 12, 2011 by Gletta
Amazing PR, when will companies in Sweden actually employ good PR professionals, some of the stuff they come out with is incredible.
11:24 May 12, 2011 by Tennin
I won't be stopping by Doc Morris' ever. I think jaundice is the least of things the people will have to worry about getting from having Doc Morris' people sharing needles on them.
11:43 May 12, 2011 by ruimove
Great Guerilla Marketing!!!!..more stupid monkey(sorry to the real ones) marketing.

Strip the licence, that will teach them.
11:53 May 12, 2011 by Åskar
So much for privatising the pharmacies.
12:09 May 12, 2011 by Rick Methven
I wonder how long before they go bankrupt?
12:40 May 12, 2011 by Stickeroo
??? Aren't all the needles in separate packages? Was the person administering the tests blind? Or just totally retarded? Or both? But yet another perfect example of the Swedish model of putting all the blame on the employee. Idiot company's fault for having a non-qualified person doing it in the first place.
13:02 May 12, 2011 by Gletta
I guess the head of information is not a doctor or scientist. So is she qualified to to say the chance of having caught something is miniscule? Who is she to decide what is important or not to the public. Her comments are doing more damage to the company than the original mistake.
13:05 May 12, 2011 by Swedesmith
One would think that there could be a simple proceedure to prevent this. Like: THROW AWAY THE NEEDLE AFTER EACH USE!
13:20 May 12, 2011 by Already in use
How unqualified do you have to be to think it's a good idea to reuse needles?
14:00 May 12, 2011 by bs3eggs
how the hell does that happen, how can someone be soo stupid, I would be seriously pissed/sueing if I got something!!
14:12 May 12, 2011 by jamesblish
Doc Morris? I've never even heard of that.
14:43 May 12, 2011 by soultraveler3
"Wikström doesn't think that it is relevant that it was unqualified personnel

who conducted the tests. "

How in the hell could anyone come to this conclusion??

It's a needle , they weren't giving out sample of a new mouthwash or something. Of course it matters if a person is qualified when it comes to blood handling.

Aren't there laws here about needle use? Opening the needle package and disposing of it (in a proper container) in front of the patient, is pretty common in most of the world.

Since this is Sweden, nothing really will be done and no one will have to take responsibility.
15:26 May 12, 2011 by Borilla
The market econony at its best. Let the pharmacy with the lowest operating expenses drive the others out of business. One area in which to save money? LET UNTRAINED AND UNQUALIFIED PERSONNEL USE THE SAME NEEDLE ON 12 DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Apparently, they don't even have to say they are sorry.
15:27 May 12, 2011 by Tamm O'Shanter
just a thought... maybe Doc Morris is on an 'economy drive'? - maximise the use of all materials (including needles)
19:46 May 12, 2011 by planet.sweden

"It was the human factor that caused it," Märit Wikström, head of information, at Doc Morris told medical journal Dagens Medicin.

- No kidding? It usually is. Particularly at badly run companies with negligent management.

Wikström doesn't think that it is relevant that it was unqualified personnel

who conducted the tests.

- That's it! I used Doc Morris for some medicine yesterday and I will NEVER be going back. What an utterly useless and dangerous bunch of idiots. Avoid Doc Morris like the plague, or you may end up catching one.
21:15 May 12, 2011 by mkvgtired
How do you "mistakenly" use the same needle 12 times? You "mistakenly" dont throw the needle into the needle biohazard bin, and you "mistakenly" dont open a sterilized package before you treat each customer?

Those of you commenting on the "scariness" of non government owned pharmacies, Walgreens (profit $2 billion +) and CVS (profit $2 billion +) dont reuse needles. I guess it is because they are afraid of the fact individuals would have the right to sue them if they contracted anything from their negligent practices. If any of these people got a terminal illness I guess that is just tough luck. I wonder if the response would be similar to that of the 23 year old guy that died because of a service provider's negligence, "well at least this isnt the US where they would be sued for it"
21:19 May 12, 2011 by swedejane
This week's swedish healthcare horror story brought to you by...
07:20 May 13, 2011 by karex
"This is very unpleasant and we are recommending that these people are offered vaccinations, against jaundice among other things,"

So does this mean that they are now wanting the national healthcare to offer the vaccinations to fix up their mess?

Has anyone told them there is no vaccination for AIDS?

I agree with a previous comment: strip their license. They are too careless and stupid to be involved in this line of business, and they should be sued.
08:04 May 13, 2011 by Maddeshusband
I wish someone would start looking into the tattoo-business.

I suspect that this is nothing compared to what you might find there...
09:45 May 13, 2011 by cogito
@#13, Borilla,

This is not an indictment of the market economy, but rather of Swedish incompetence.

Private pharmacies have worked out brilliantly in France, Spain, the USA and most of the world.
14:24 May 13, 2011 by tadchem
"Unqualified personnel used the same lancet on twelve people before it was discovered and stopped." This is simple criminal negligence on the part of those who assigned the unqualified personnel to the task.
17:20 May 13, 2011 by laura ka baal
Same needle should be inserted in the nurses aas.
19:01 May 13, 2011 by jamesblish
Wow, only a couple of comments on how the swedish medical system is a failure and how people are dying like flies from malpractice. What's wrong?
11:54 May 14, 2011 by johnny1939
When you deal w/ chains you do have to be careful. When I pick up medication I immediately look at it before paying and make sure it is what the doctor prescribed. If it a repeat and it looks different (colour, shape) I insist talking to the pharmacist. Why I do this? Several years ago I got somebody's heart med. in stead of what I needed. So do be careful. You, yourself is the best watchdog.
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