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Patients left in their feces for hours: The Swedish Health Inspectorate


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Sweden’s health watchdog has expressed serious concern about the state of hospital care in the country. The watchdog has uncovered overwhelming evidence that patients were not given enough food or water, left in their own stools for hours, and discharged despite urgent need for care, local media reported on Friday.

The Department of Health and Welfare (IVO) called the situation “outrageous and totally unacceptable”.

“Patients are not getting an acceptable amount of food, fluids or basic treatment, and according to our information, patients can be asked to lie down for several hours in their own stool,” Peder Karlsson, who led the examination at IVO, told the TT National news agency.

He added that the health watchdog had discovered major shortcomings in Swedish health care with an acute shortage of staff, which contributed to patients not receiving adequate treatment.

“This is a terrible and totally unacceptable situation, and it is especially remarkable that this is happening in the hospitals that we have in our country,” Carlson said.

In January 2022, the IVO started a coherent national supervision of Swedish hospital care in all 21 regional health authorities. To date, it has made supervisory decisions for 27 hospitals.

According to Carlson, half of the hospitals claimed, when questioned, that they were forced to remove patients from emergency care, who should, in fact, have been hospitalized, and that hospital staff were unable to administer patients appropriate medication in the hospital. Good time.

“We have examples of sepsis patients who were sent home instead of being admitted and given antibiotics,” he revealed.

In its conclusions, the oversight body said that the most basic patient safety measures were not being met, and that people were receiving care for a long time in the corridors and in other places that violated privacy and inappropriate places, without having enough food or water or even assistance with that. Go to the bathroom.

The examination revealed that the staff did not arrive with a pacemaker for a patient suffering from cardiac arrest because patients were being treated in the corridor.

It was also revealed that medical supervision is not based on patients’ medical needs but on available equipment and personnel.

Ironically, according to the monitoring body, medical outcomes in Swedish care stand out quite well in international comparisons, while Swedish care performs worse than similar countries in terms of waiting times and number of places for care.

The IVO warned that if regions do not improve the placement of patients in emergency hospitals within a reasonable time, they will impose fines and ban operations to protect patients.

“Care that is not considered safe for the patient must not be allowed to continue,” she said.

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