Swedish health watchdog criticizes doctor over woman's toilet birth

The Local Sweden
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Swedish health watchdog criticizes doctor over woman's toilet birth
File photo of a baby not related to the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden's health watchdog has criticized a doctor after a pregnant woman was sent home and gave birth in the toilet moments after being told to take paracetamol.


As The Local reported last year, the woman from western Sweden was 31 weeks' pregnant when she started getting stomach pains on a visit to Ystad in southern Sweden and contacted the hospital.

The obstetrics and gynecology unit found traces of blood in her urine, gave her antibiotics and sent her home.

Later that evening she contacted the hospital again, but a CTG and vaginal ultrasound did not show anything out of the ordinary, so the same doctor sent her home once again.

Her husband called health services once more that night explaining that his wife was in so much pain she was unable to speak, but was told that she should take an Alvedon – a Swedish brand of paracetamol-based painkillers.

In the report filed to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate the woman explained that she then threw up and ran to the toilet, where she had three contractions, pushed and gave birth to a son in the toilet chair. Half an hour later an ambulance came to get her.

Both the 39-year-old woman and the child are understood to have been at good physical health afterwards, but the woman later contacted the hospital in Ystad to get an explanation about what happened.

"I have thought a lot about the incident and called Ystad to see if they had done any investigation and if it had provided some answers as to whether or not they could have done something differently. For example let me stay the night for observation," regional newspaper Kvällsposten quotes the woman as writing in her report to the inspectorate.

But when she called the hospital none of the senior doctors were aware of her birth.

The health inspectorate found that she should have been admitted for observation, especially considering that it was believed she had an infection which could trigger early birth, Kvällsposten reports. The watchdog also criticized the doctor who examined her for not signing the medical log.


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