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Man dies after hospital mistakes stroke for drugs

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11:00 CET+01:00
A Swedish man who had suffered a stroke later died in hospital after staff mistakenly thought he was on drugs, prompting the family to file a police report.

The man, Kenny Lindqvist, 58, had the stroke on February 8th and died of a cerebral hemorrhage five days later.

Lindqvist’s family is outraged by the treatment he received at the Gävle Hospital, and has called for police intervention, with the man’s daughter, Michaela Gästgivar, labelling the hospital’s treatment as “torture” according to the Expressen newspaper.

The man was allegedly brought to hospital with a drooping face and slurred speech. He was also acting confused, and was asked by hospital staff if he had been taking pills.

Lindqvist responded that he had taken paracetamol, as his friend had given the pain-relief drug to him, and staff subsequently put him on a drip, stating his condition as “under the influence of unknown substances” (oklar intox) in the medical logbook.

“But the test results show that he was not under the influence of anything. However, they continued to think he was intoxicated for three whole days. What drug makes someone worse and worse? If he was under the influence of something, he would have perked up,” Gästgivar told the paper.

To make matters worse, family members were told they were not allowed to visit Lindqvist in hospital because they were told there was a virus going around, and there was a risk of infection.

“We told them they’d need to get security to stop us,” said Gästgivar to Expressen, adding that they suspected a stroke when they heard the symptoms.

When the family was finally united again, the daughter claims they had to fight to get their father an x-ray, and were unable to spend time with him as hospital staff thought he had a virus too, based on the man’s previous complaints that he was feeling unwell.

The hospital allegedly claimed that they had too few staff to perform the x-ray, yet Michaela Gästgivar’s persistence resulted in hospital action.

Gästgivar told the paper that she and her family were also unable to ever say a proper goodbye to their father, as staff members were quick to “drag him” from their arms due to his perceived contagious virus.

The x-ray showed that Lindqvist had had two cerebral hemorrhages, and he was rushed to Uppsala University Hospital, where further treatment proved futile.

The 58-year-old was taken off life support on Monday the 13th February, five days after the stroke, and declared brain dead by staff. He died shortly after.

Uppsala doctors claim the death could have been prevented if earlier action was taken.

Prosecutors have reported that it is highly unusual for people to call the police when it comes to hospital care, but are looking into the case.

The hospital has reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) according to Lex Maria, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

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