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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Swedish police deliver baby in back seat of car

Two Swedish police officers assisted in a very special roadside delivery over the weekend when they helped a mum give birth to a baby girl in the middle of the night.

Swedish police deliver baby in back seat of car
This is not the baby in the story. Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/SCANPIX

Police officer Petter Kesselmark described the unusual incident which saw him and his colleague Stina Strömberg flagged down by a nervous soon-to-be dad at a roundabout in Norrköping, eastern Sweden, in the early hours of Sunday.

“There was a car parked on the roadside and a man was waving frantically at us. The back door was open and I said to my colleague: do you think there's a birth about to happen?” he told regional newspaper Corren.

But the pair quickly sprang into action when they realized that was in fact the case.

“There were only minutes left so my colleague took care of the woman and we came up with a blanket, while I talked to the emergency services and a midwife on the phone and could pass on that everything was cool and all we had to do was receive the child,” said Kesselmark.

The healthy baby girl was born inside the car at 12.07am. An ambulance which arrived at the scene minutes later took the mother and the newborn to hospital for a check-over.

A while later they got a visit from their unexpected helpers.

“They were so happy and we felt honoured to have been part of this and to have shared it with them. We walked around with big smiles on our faces later, said Kesselmark.