Elderly Swede dies after swallowing his dentures

A 94-year-old man from Lindesberg in central Sweden died after caregivers failed to discover his set of false teeth had been lodged in his throat for several days.

The man lived in an elderly care facility and hadn’t eaten for a week when he was taken to Lindesberg hospital with a suspected respiratory infection, writes the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper.

By the time the man arrived at the hospital he was unconscious. He was give antibiotics. It was only when hospital personnel began to examine the man’s mouth that they discovered his dentures were stuck in his throat.

The man died the following day.

Bengt Jakobsson, a doctor at the hospital, believes that the fake teeth likely played a role in the man’s death.

The case has now been reported to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).


Norway saw fewer hospital patients in 2020 despite pandemic

Fewer patients were treated in hospital in 2020 than in 2019, with Covid-19 being the reason for the drop, according to Statistics Norway.

Norway saw fewer hospital patients in 2020 despite pandemic
Illustration photo by Audun Braastad / AFP)

The decline in patients has been largest for those awaiting planned treatments, but the number of people requiring immediate attention also dropped too, according to Statistics Norway figures.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals had to prioritise differently in 2020 as a result of the increased need for intensive care units.

“2020 was a year marked by pandemics and restrictions. In many places hospitals have had to prioritise differently due to the coronavirus, and perhaps particularly as the result of the increased need for intensive care,” the report said.

This has contributed to a decrease in the number of patients in hospitals at all levels of care.

The number of patients with 24-hour stays decreased by 7 percent. The total number of days spent in hospital fell by 11 percent or 380,000 fewer days in a hospital bed in 2020 compared to 2019.

Hospital stays lasting at least 24 hours include both planned and unplanned visits. In 2020 planned visits accounted for 29 percent of all visits, which is a decrease of 16 percent from the previous year, while visits for immediate appointments decreased by 3 percent.

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The figures show a decline for almost all diagnostic groups, but cancer patients had a smaller decline than other groups.

Planned treatment of various forms of cancer decreased by 8 percent, but acute help for tumours saw an increase of 11 percent.

This reverses a trend of numbers of patients in hospitals increasing year on year. The increases had primarily been driven by patients at outpatient clinics.