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AMBULANCE

‘Swedish hospitals send ambulances too often’

More ambulances are being sent out for minor injuries in Sweden as emergency workers are afraid of making a potentially fatal mistake, according to a new report.

'Swedish hospitals send ambulances too often'

There has been a 10-percent hike in ambulance call-outs in Sweden in the past three years, and it is not due to a 10-percent increase in emergency cases.

Emergency call operators are afraid of refusing a request for an ambulance and being hung out in the media if something goes wrong, wrote Eric Carlström, an ambulance nurse studying at University West.

“There’s a whole bunch of patients who could have taken a taxi or other medical transport instead, while those people who are truly in need of help and need to be picked up in minutes are maybe made to wait for 40 minutes,” Carlström said in a statement, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

In 2012, Sweden was hit with a number of cases where an ambulance no-show resulted in a death.

In January, a 22-year-old woman died after her request for help was denied because she was “still talking”.

SEE ALSO: Ambulance call outrage: ‘Are you black or white?’

In February, a 17-year-old boy’s parents were forced to drive him to hospital after no ambulance showed up, with the SOS Alarm team later blaming an error in prioritization. He died soon after.

The new report suggests that even the patients are unimpressed.

“You get irritated when you are referred by health services to go in to emergency just to spend six hours of potential sleep time so you can sit there in the glow of some aquarium,” said one internet user who was cited in the report.

The study suggests that more time should be invested in training emergency call operators to ensure they feel comfortable trusting their instincts.

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HEART ATTACK

Machine as good as man at CPR: Swedish study

Chest compressions performed by a machine are just as effective at helping heart attack patients as those performed by a human, a Swedish study has found.

Machine as good as man at CPR: Swedish study

The results come from a comparison of 2,500 patients from Sweden, the Netherlands, and England who received assistance with an automated external defibrillator (AED). The patients were then also treated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), either performed manually or given by a machine.

After observing patients for six months, researchers from Uppsala University determined that both methods were equally effective, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.

The results mean that county health authorities in Sweden that have equipped ambulances with the compression machines, known as Lucas, should keep the machines in use.

While the professor who led the study, Sten Rubertsson of Uppsala University, cautioned that emergency responders should continue to practice the art of manual CPR, he explained that the machine may be better suited to some situations, such as when an ambulance is transporting a patient at high speed.

“It can be really hard to give manual chest compressions during an ambulance ride because you have to stand in back with the ambulances may be going 100 km/h,” he told SR.

“It’s risky and there have been accidents where ambulance workers have been injured.”

TT/The Local/dl

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