Patient waits eight hours in emergency ward, dies

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Patient waits eight hours in emergency ward, dies

A Gothenburg hospital has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) after a seriously ill patient was forced to wait eight hours in the emergency ward, only to then suffer a stroke and die.


The patient, who had previously overcome a brain tumour, was admitted to Varberg hospital in western Sweden for a routine check-up.

The patient was then forwarded to the Sahlgrenska University hospital for a further check-up, specifically on a so-called “shunt” valve that had been earlier inserted in the patient’s head to alleviate pressure to the brain and to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid.

However, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, the patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated.

According to nurses, the patient had “unexpectedly lowered alertness accompanied by laboured breathing”, forcing them to place an emergency call to doctors back at Varberg, wrote the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

Instead of being brought back to the hospital, the doctors explained that the patient's condition was too severe for them to handle and the patient was sent to the Sahlgrenska University hospital’s intensive care unit.

It took eight hours before surgeons could see to the patient, by which time the patient had suffered a stroke from a blood clot to the brain and could not be revived.

Chief physician Mats Tullberg has now reported the incident, which occurred in August, to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in accordance with Sweden's Lex-Maria laws, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

TT/The Local/og

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