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SWEDISH ELDERLY CARE SCANDAL

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Care home staff weigh diapers to save money

Employees at the scandal-stricken care provider Carema's nursing homes in Sweden are instructed to weigh old age pensioners' diapers to assess if they are full or could be used longer, according to staff.

Care home staff weigh diapers to save money

“We’re not allowed to change the diaper until it has reached its full capacity. The aim is clearly to keep consumption down and save money,” an anonymous member of staff told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

The result is that the old people are left with wet diapers for hours before they are changed, staff claims.

Sources have described to DN how staff is also instructed to weigh the diapers regularly to ascertain how many hours the patient can wear it before it starts leaking.

This way, staff can work out which brand to use in order to have to change the diapers as seldom as possible and avoid “unnecessary” changing.

However, according to the company’s head of information, Elisabeth Frostell, the project was launched in order to try out what incontinence pad was best for each individual patient.

“It is not a question of residents being forced to wear wet diapers. The assessment is done with the client’s best interest at heart,” she told the paper.

The company also announced on Thursday that they are scrapping their controversial bonus program whereby management were said to reward the homes that managed to save the most money.

“The wrong things may never be prioritized. We have now banned all bonuses in our operations, and of course that goes for my own as well,” Carema CEO Carl Gyllfors wrote on the company website.

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ELDERLY

Police probe mystery death at Swedish care home after spate of overdoses

Police are investigating one case of murder and two attempted murders at a care home in the west of Sweden, after a doctor raised the alarm about suspicious insulin overdoses.

Police probe mystery death at Swedish care home after spate of overdoses
At least of the women did not normally receive insulin injections. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
“There is one man who died in connection to the events,” Stina Lundqvist, the prosecutor in the case, told the local Göteborgs Tidning newspaper.
 
“All of these three people who received a medication which they were not supposed to have, according to what they were prescribed,” she added in an interview with Swedish state radio broadcaster SR
 
“We are investigating the events as attempted murder,” she told Sweden's TT newswire, which reported that it could be a case of active euthanasia, which is illegal in Sweden, although the prosecutor did not comment.
 
The doctor reported his suspicions to the police after two women from the same section of the care home were admitted to the hospital, both suffering from extremely low blood sugar. 
 
“Through giving the plaintiff insulin, someone has caused her to lose consciousness and stop breathing,” a senior doctor at the hospital wrote in a police report.
 
The doctor added that the woman would not have been capable of administering the insulin herself. 
 
In January this year, a third resident from the same section of the same care home, was also admitted to the hospital suffering from low blood sugar. It was then that police put a prosecutor on the case. 
 
“It's unlikely to be a coincidence because it is all from the same section and is the same type of event,” Lundqvist told TT.
 
“But it's a slightly special case. We can't say with confidence that this is an attempted murder. That's something we hope the investigation will shed some light on.” 
 
“There are certain elements which suggest a crime has been committed, although exactly what evidence this is, I cannot go into at present.” 
 
 
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At least one of the women did not normally take insulin, and another was admitted with a type of insulin in her body different from that which she was prescribed. 
 
According to a report in a local newspaper, a police search of the home found two empty insulin pens containing fast-acting insulin which were not registered in the home's records. 
 
Lundqvist said it was a “complicated investigation”, as many of the staff who worked at the home at the time had already moved on. 
 
“We have no one at present we could reasonably call a suspect, but of course there are people we are looking closely at,” she said. “It's of course a natural part of our investigation to look at who has been working at the home when all the events took place.” 
 
The prosecutor in the case, Stina Lundqvist, says there is not yet a suspect. Photo: Adam Ihse/Exponera
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