Nurse cleared over ambulance call death

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.

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.

TT/The Local/at

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