Swedish doctor faces trial for killing baby

A doctor in southern Sweden has been charged with manslaughter after his use of a ventouse during a 55-hour birth resulted in the death of a baby and serious injuries to the mother.

The incident occurred in May, 2011, at the Höglandssjukhuset hospital in Eksjö. The doctor is now formally charged with manslaughter and intent to cause bodily harm.

During the birth, the doctor used a ventouse nine times on the unborn child, killing the baby and resulting in serious injuries to the woman’s genitals.

“I begged and begged for him to give me a c-section. I was so tired and had no more strength and my uterus had collapsed. My partner said that I was exhausted. But the doctor just said that ‘all women can give birth naturally’,” the mother told the Aftonbladet newspaper at the time.

The paper added that the despite pleas from a junior doctor and tears from the nursing team, the specialist persisted with the ventouse, breaking the baby’s collarbone in the process. The mother was rushed for an emergency blood transfusion from the injuries she sustained.

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has demanded that the doctor lose his medical licence.

The hospital reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare, according to Lex Maria, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

At the hospital, officials claimed that the doctor “acted outside the guidelines of the hospital” which stipulate that a ventouse cannot be used for more than 20 minutes.

The doctor used the vacuum-like device nine times, for close to one hour in total, before he switched to forceps.

The National Board considers the doctor “strongly exceeded” the limit in his delivery, and that his actions were “grossly inept”.

TT/The Local/og

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