• Sweden's news in English

Kids' eyes glued shut by Swedish docs

David Landes · 13 Jan 2012, 10:35

Published: 13 Jan 2012 10:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

One incident involved a 22-month-old toddler whose parents had taken him to a hospital emergency room in Gothenburg in western Sweden after he had fallen and received a 1.5 centimetre-long gash on his forehead.

The attending physician treated the wound using a medical glue, some of which proceeded to trickle down from the injury.

“When it was over and [the doctor] seemed 'satisfied', we discovered that [our son] couldn't open his eye,” the parents wrote in a report filed with Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelesen) following the December 2011 incident.

“There was glue over his entire eyelid and under his eye!”

The doctor then stepped away to read the label on the glue packet he'd used to treat the toddler, and then left the room to consult colleagues about what to do.

“He came back into the room after a moment and said that the eye specialist at Mölndal's hospital wanted us to come immediately,” the complaint read.

The family then rushed to the specialist clinic where the boy was sedated in order to have his eye surgically opened.

During the roughly hour-long operation, doctors were required to remove most of the boy's eyelashes, leaving the toddler with “a lot of swelling around the eye for the next few days and a great deal of discomfort”.

In their report, the parents criticize the way the original doctor handled the incident.

“A little cut resulted in sedation, surgery - with all the risks it entails, and hospitalization in the eye clinic,” they wrote.

“This should never have happened.”

A similar incident took place in August 2011 in Västerbotten in northern Sweden when a 4-year-old had an eye glued shut in connection with treatment for a cut above the eyebrow.

“This can't happen. It's obviously awful for the child and the parents involved. The child thinks its going to be blind,” Ove Berglund, chief physician at the Västerbotten county council, to the Expressen newspaper.

Neither child suffered any long term injuries from the eye-gluing incidents, several more of which came to light following initial reports about the incidents in the Swedish press.

Story continues below…

Both cases involved a water-based medical glue known as LiquiBand which dissolves over time.

According to Bergland, the problem wasn't the product, but the way it was used.

Speaking with the Dagens Nyhter (DN) newspaper, he explained that the hospital in Västerbotten has changed its procedures to ensure that patients in the future “can avoid these unpleasant situations”.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:38 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
Has anyone asked if the actual doctor has a medical degree?
12:21 January 13, 2012 by axiom
Degree ??? was he checked for good old common sense ?
13:02 January 13, 2012 by Keith #5083
" the problem wasn't the product, but the way it was used."

Like,WOW! I just loved the bit where it said the doc read the instructions 'after' he'd used it.I mean, anyone can have a bad day--but,wait a minute, doctors are not 'anyone' are they?

I wonder what that stroke of genius would have cost his insurance underwriters in America, for example?
13:03 January 13, 2012 by gabeltoon
I agree with you. Your government should make sure that all doctors are properly trained and hold the qualifications to be called a doctor, and be able to speak and read and understand your language.I hope these poor kids are now doing well.
13:28 January 13, 2012 by Tennin
The doctor clearly didn't know how to use the product.
13:34 January 13, 2012 by thatsjustme
Both of my kids needed wounds gluing. One got it glued in hospital - complete disaster, it got infected later and he needed emergency hospitalisation.

My other child got a wound glued by the local doctor - it did not 'stick', so doctor checked leaflet and saw product was 2 years over the use-by date....
15:14 January 13, 2012 by VicTaulic
This has actually happened to me a long time ago. The glue is called Dermabond and it has its uses for superficial lacerations, especially in young kids. The problem is that the Dermabond can run along the face, and sometimes wind up in the cul-de-sac of the eye. So if the child is not still, this is a problem. When it happened, it was embarrassing, of course, but with a couple of alcohol prep pads and patient work over fifteen minutes, the glue was removed without incident and the child did fine. That surgery was required in this case is very curious. And that eyelashes had to be removed is doubly curious, suggesting that the surgeon didn't know what he was dealing with either. Of course, maybe it wasn't Dermabond.
15:38 January 13, 2012 by Tennin
About 7- 8 years ago I had Dermabond used on my hand to close up a wound. It was the main nurse that did it, and thankfully he knew what he was doing, it was fast, painless and neat. It didn't take much of the glue to close up my wound, and it dried really fast. But then again I'm not a child having my face glued up either.
18:59 January 13, 2012 by tadchem
The proper technique to treating forehead and scalp wounds with Dermabond requires the patient lie supine with no pillow so the fluid cannot drip into the eyes or ears, and never use more than is needed to seal the wound.
23:16 January 16, 2012 by Just_Kidding
No one expects a car painter to be that sloppy, let alone a doctor.
02:01 January 23, 2012 by Da Goat
whats the big deal if the child was not in pain (eye) they should have just left it and in a day or so it would pop open again with out the need for radical surgery !
Today's headlines
Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Cannabis worth millions seized at Swedish port
A file photo of a Swedish police cannabis find not related to the story. Photo: Polisen

The 300kg haul was found by in a truck which drove off a ferry in Karlskrona.

Roll over Volvo: there’s a new Swedish car in town
Photo: Björn Olsson

Car developers in Gothenburg have given Volvo a new sibling.

Thaw trip: Swedish PM Löfven heads to Saudi Arabia
Margot Wallström was at the centre of the 2015 diplomatic crisis. She will not join the Prime Minister on his trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

There are fences that need mending.

Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
This shot of snow in western Sweden may not be as far away as you think. Photo: Johan Eklund/TT

...and it's still only October.

Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
The new rules are unfair, say Swedish IB pupils. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

A new system for converting the grades of International Baccalaureate students in Sweden will make it almost impossible for them to get into top Swedish universities, it has been claimed.

Education doesn’t always pay in Sweden: study
Nurses are paid less than a lot of non-college graduates. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Half of Swedish graduates would earn more in their lifetime if they instead started work straight after high school, a new study shows.

What's On in Sweden
Five ways to discover something new in Sweden this weekend
Frank Zappa's symphonic works will be performed in Malmö this weekend. Photo: Anonymous/AP

From a performance of Frank Zappa's unheralded orchestral work to an intriguing combination of circus and opera, Sweden has some unique events this weekend.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »


6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available