Four Swedes With Flu Complications

Updated 20:13

Four Swedish patients are currently in intensive care since their lungs have collapsed as a result of the Swine Flu A/H1N1. One of them has been transferred to a Danish hospital, since there were no places available in Sweden where he could be treated with so called ECMO equipment - which is an artificial lung.

Such a situation, even before the anticipated pandemic outbreak of Swine Flu in Sweden does not in itself mean there is cause for alarm, says Chief Medical Officer at Karolinska University Hospital, Stefan Engqvist in an interview with the News Agency TT. He says it is impossible to make statistics out of four people, and that no-one knows exactly how the disease will hit Sweden.

Just how many people will need this ECMO-treatment is therefore unknown. Swedish Television quoted the National Board of Health and Welfare saying that if needs be, 30 places by ECMO-equipment can be made available inside Sweden. That can be compared with Australia where 50 people were treated on ECMO machines.

Stefan Engqvist at Karolinska Hospital says that international co-operation when it comes to ECMO-treatment is common, and Karolinska hospital is working together with nine hospitals in Denmark, Germany and the UK.