Nurse cleared over ambulance call death

A Swedish appeals court has freed a nurse who dismissed the emergency call from a 23-year-old who later died of a ruptured spleen.

Nurse cleared over ambulance call death

The court said in its verdict that it was not possible to prove that the nurse’s decision not to send an ambulance caused the man’s death. He had already been cleared of charges by an appeals court.

“Of course I am not content with this verdict,” the deceased man’s mother told the TT news agency on Thursday. She added that she did not know whether the family would appeal.

The nurse was originally charged with aggravated manslaughter in the summer of 2011. The case dates back to the early hours of January 30th, 2011 when the Stockholm man called SOS Alarm, a company operating emergency response services in several counties in Sweden, repeatedly and asked for an ambulance.

He had been experiencing difficulty breathing and had lost consciousness several times while he spoke with the nurse on the phone. The nurse, however, made the judgement that the symptoms did not sound serious enough, and no ambulance was dispatched.

It later emerged that the 23-year-old was suffering from a ruptured spleen, a condition that requires emergency care, the prosecutor in the case concluded when announcing the original charges. A ruptured spleen causes breathing problems and affects circulation to the extent that it can cause a loss of consciousness, leaving the sufferer in pain and heavy anxiety.

The nurse had at least ten years of experience and had worked for SOS Alarm for just over a year. Over the course of his employment, the company had received a total of three complaints from callers regarding his performance.

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Fatal workplace mishaps claim two lives

Two workers died on the job in Sweden on Wednesday in two separate accidents involving cranes, less than a week after two workers died after drowning in coal tar at a coke plant.

Fatal workplace mishaps claim two lives

In one accident, a 63-year-old crane operator died after a ten-metre long post came loose and hit him in the head. The accident took place near the Rörvik dock on the island of Orust off Sweden’s west coast.

Workers were operating a crane on a barge located several metres from shore in an effort to secure the posts into the seabed. For some unknown reason, one of the posts fell from the crane, striking the 63-year-old. He was rushed to Norra Älvsborgs hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The second accident took place in central Malmö. Two workers were up in a bucket lift stringing up Christmas lights on lamp posts when their truck was struck by another truck.

One worker, a 64-year-old man, fell several metres to the ground, while his colleague managed to remain dangling in the bucket. Witnesses reported seeing the man lying bloodied on the ground as ambulance workers tried to revive him.

He was taken to hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.

The truck that struck the crane was driven by a student driver in upper secondary school who was accompanied by an instructor, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reported.

While no one is currently suspected of committing any crime in connection with the accident in Malmö, two police reports were filed, one for a workplace accident and the other for a traffic violation.

The two deaths come just days after two workers died at a coke plant in northern Sweden after drowning in coal tar that spilled out of a tank during routine maintenance. The incident, which took place at a facility operated by steel-maker SSAB, sparked anger from unions about lax workplace safety.

“It is completely unacceptable that there are such shortcomings in the working environment that people die on the job,” IF Metall spokesman Anders Ferbe told the TT news agency at the time.

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