Investigations of specific operations at the Karolinska University Hospital to be discontinued

On Thursday 12 October, the prosecutor decided to discontinue the investigations of a surgeon who was formerly employed at Karolinska University Hospital where he performed surgeries of tracheas.

The two investigations of the surgeon concern five operations on four people during the period 2011-2013. The surgeon was notified of the suspicions against him concerning three counts of causing another’s death, gross crime, alternatively causing bodily harm, gross crime, and one case of causing bodily harm, gross crime. Three out of the four individuals have since died.

  − We have reached the conclusion that four of the five operations were negligently carried out, as the surgeon performed the operations using synthetic tracheas, which is in conflict with science and tried-and-tested practice. However, we have been unable to prove that any crimes have been committed. We cannot prove that the effects of his actions, with sufficient degree of probability, would not have occurred had another method been used. Regarding the fourth individual, we are not of the opinion that the surgeon’s actions were negligent. Expert medical opinion is not unanimous regarding what should have been done instead for these seriously ill individuals, which therefore has made the suspicions difficult to prove, says public prosecutor Jennie Nordin.

Together with public prosecutors Anders Tordai and Leif Appelgren, Jennie Nordin has analysed a large amount of data. Approximately 80 interviews have been held in Sweden and abroad to obtain details for the investigations. 

  − The investigations have been comprehensive with many complex medical issues, says Jennie Nordin.

Decision, plaintiffs 1-3 (pdf)
Decision, plaintiff 4 (pdf)

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