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HEALTH

Medical errors can cost hospitals dear

A mistake or erroneous diagnosis can be expensive for individual hospitals after the introduction of new routines to improve patient safety as a part of a review of Stockholm healthcare.

Stockholm county health authority has proposed that those responsible for mistakes can be held liable to pay for all care costs in the two years after the error.

“It concerns operations which have to be repeated as a result of sloppy practice in the first instance,” said county commissioner Stig Nyman to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Stockholm county council launched a new model at the beginning of the year for the seven care centres which conduct hip and knee operations. Henrik Almkvist, chief physician with the local health care administration, said to SvD that the system will gradually be rolled out to cover all health care services, even psychiatry and primary care.

Stig Nyman hopes that it “can increase the focus” on the development of sound routines, the double checking of mistakes and encourage the reporting of all mistakes so that lessons can be learned.

“When it can be proven that the staff have not done everything they can to avoid injury or infection then the hospital should stand for the all the costs for any new operations and aftercare.

HEALTH

Sweden records world’s first case of bird flu in a porpoise

A porpoise found stranded on a Swedish beach in June died of bird flu, the first time the virus has been detected in one of the marine mammals, Sweden's National Veterinary Institute said on Wednesday.

Sweden records world's first case of bird flu in a porpoise

“As far as we know this is the first confirmed case in the world of bird flu in a porpoise,” veterinarian Elina Thorsson said in a statement. “It is likely that the porpoise somehow came into contact with infected birds,” she said.

The young male was found stranded, alive, on a beach in western Sweden in late June. Despite efforts from the public to get it to swim out to deeper
waters, it was suffering from exhaustion and died the same evening.

The bird flu virus, H5N1, was found in several of its organs. “Contrary to seals, where illnesses caused by a flu virus have been detected multiple times, there have been only a handful of reports of flu virus in cetaceans”, Thorsson said.

The virus has also previously been detected in other mammals, including red foxes, otters, lynx and skunks, the institute said.

Europe and North America are currently seeing a vast outbreak of bird flu among wild birds.

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