Swedish woman swallows scalpels – dies

A patient at a Swedish psychiatric ward in Helsingborg, in the south of Sweden, has recently died after swallowing two surgical implements while visiting the Växjö hospital Centrallasarettet.

Swedish woman swallows scalpels – dies

“Of course this is a terrible tragedy. We have no idea what she was doing in Växjö,” said the head of the open psychiatric ward where the woman was normally treated to local paper Smålandsposten (SMP).

The woman, who has a history of swallowing sharp implements such as razorblades and knives, had been treated for several years at the open clinic in Helsingborg.

During what appears to be a mystery visit to Växjö, the woman visited Centrallasarettet where she reportedly got hold of the two surgical implements.

When staff at the hospital found out what she had done, she was rushed into surgery, but when the surgeon tried to remove the second scalpel from the woman’s throat, it damaged her oesophagus and blood vessels in her throat so badly that she died on the operating table.

The woman’s Helsingborg clinic has since requested an investigation by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) into the incident, in accordance with Lex Maria, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

The incident is also under investigation at the Växjö hospital where the tragedy occurred.

“There may well be a lex Maria report from us too, once we finalize our investigation,” said Pär Lindgren of the hospital to news agency TT.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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