• Sweden's news in English

Fury over doc who let 15-year-old cut into patient

The Local · 1 Oct 2012, 16:33

Published: 01 Oct 2012 16:33 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In May a pair of new parents read a story in the Sydsvenskan newspaper detailing how a 15-year-old student was allowed to partake in a recent c-section operation at Malmö University Hospital.

While the couple had just gone through the same procedure at the same hospital, they still felt confident the incident described in the article couldn’t have been about them as no one from the hospital had informed them of anything like that happening.

“It can’t be us, no one’s told us,” the father thought after reading the article, he told Sydsvenskan recently.

However, on the day of the scheduled delivery, the couple had been introduced to the surgeon who would perform the operation as well as her “assistant”; the 15-year-old.

“I thought it was a medical student practicing patient contact, something that you do early on in your medical training. This is a university hospital so one must be prepared to meet students,” the mother told the paper.

But later on the day the article had been published, the couple received a call from the surgeon who had performed the Cesarean section telling them what had happened.

It turned out that the student, a 15-year-old relative of the surgeon, had been allowed to observe several surgeries as part of a practical work experience component, common in many middle schools in Sweden.

On two occasions the 15-year-old was handed a scalpel, bringing a new dimension to the "hands-on" nature of the unpaid work experience, referred to in Sweden by the acronym prao (praktisk arbetslivsorientering – 'practical work-life orientation').

According to the paper, the student had been present during several operations, sometimes as a bystander and sometimes in a more active role. The teenager was present at a delivery where a suction cup was used and at one point examined a patient vaginally in conjunction with her delivery.

In the Sydsvenskan article published in May, the attending doctor’s supervisor Per Ekström said it was regrettable that the teenager had been allowed to take such an active role.

He also confirmed that although the patient had been introduced to the student, she was not aware that the 15-year-old had held the scalpel during her operation and she wasn’t likely to be informed.

"I don't think it would benefit anyone," he told the newspaper.

However, the hospital must have had a change of heart because later that day the couple received a call from the surgeon.

“She said she was phoning us on her own accord but we found out later she had been told to call us,” the mother told the paper.

The couple has now finally had a meeting with the hospital about what happened during the delivery which they felt was shoddily handled from beginning to end.

The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has also aimed harsh criticism against what happened and the hospital’s hierarchical atmosphere, which made the rest of the medical staff hesitate to question the 15-year-old’s presence in the operation theatre despite rules stating that all present during operations must be over 18.

Story continues below…

However, the couple is now trying to put the incident behind them.

“The main thing is that they are OK,” said the father to Sydsvenskan, looking at his wife and daughter.

The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:54 October 1, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Very, very scary situation!!!
21:00 October 1, 2012 by cogito
Welcome to Sweden. This is how we do things in Sweden.
21:59 October 1, 2012 by 3000
Excuse me, but why has this doctor not been fired? How difficult can it be to make that decision?
22:35 October 1, 2012 by muscle
THIS is extremely serious case and extreme negligence... the license of such surgeon should be revoked and the team of docs should be prosecuted!!! what the hell..
05:08 October 2, 2012 by Da Goat
you have to start somewhere the good surgeons were 15 too at one stage and lucky you go there now, one stage you just went to your local barber!

if the kid done well why hit on him/her ....one day they may save your life!
17:14 October 7, 2012 by Flutterbye
I have no problem with medical students learning but 15 years of age, what the hell was he doing in an operating theatre.

I would sue the socks of that hospital.
Today's headlines
US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

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 »


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 »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
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
jobs available