Swine flu victim flown to Sweden for treatment









A pregnant woman critically ill with swine flu was being treated in a Swedish hospital today after being transferred from Scotland for specialised treatment.



The 26-year-old suffered a rare complication and was flown to Stockholm because no beds were available in the UK for the procedure she needed.

The Scot was admitted to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, last week where she was put on a ventilator because of an extreme reaction to the H1N1 virus.

Earlier yesterday, a new website to diagnose people with swine flu crashed within minutes of launching after it was deluged with thousands of hits a second.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran's specialist intensive care team recommended that the pregnant Scot received a highly-specialised procedure known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

This involves circulating the patient's blood outside the body and adding oxygen to it artificially.

ECMO is a relatively new technique that is used when a patient's lungs are functioning very poorly even with ventilation and high levels of oxygen.

The UK has a national ECMO unit in Leicester but all five beds there are currently being used.

However a bed has been found in a similar unit in Stockholm and the patient was transferred under pan-European arrangements for sharing such scarce facilities.

A specialist medical team was sent from Stockholm and the patient was flown to Sweden, arriving at the hospital last night.

The health board said she had adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Dr Robert Masterton, executive medical director of NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: "Once an ECMO bed was identified in Sweden, our intensive care specialists worked closely with our Swedish colleagues to make sure the patient was stable before being transferred.

"The family have been fully involved in this decision and support this referral. They have asked for privacy while they concentrate on the patient's treatment and recovery."

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "This woman has suffered severe complications and requires urgent and highly specialised treatment.

"It is therefore absolutely right that she is transferred to Sweden for treatment which could save her life."

Speaking on BBC News 24 last night, Ms Sturgeon said health services in Scotland were coping with the swine flu outbreak and agreed levels of the illness were low compared to England.

She said: "In Scotland one of the advantages we have at the moment of our relatively low level of flu is that our GP services and NHS 24 are coping with demand so we haven't had to switch on the pandemic flu service today as has been the case in England.

"We don't yet have the levels of flu to necessitate the switch-on of that service."

The Government said last night that a new website to diagnose people with swine flu was experiencing "unprecedented demand".

The system, which launched at 3pm yesterday, was receiving 2,600 hits per second - or 9.3 million hits per hour - at around 5pm.

The website crashed within minutes of launching but appeared to be running normally a short time later.

But the Government admitted it was having to increase capacity due to demand.

It comes after new figures showed there were an estimated 100,000 new cases of swine flu last week - around double the 55,000 in the previous week.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

    £7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'