Dr Wennberg’s Casebook: Writing With Blood

I took my Medical Degree at Karolinska Intitute in Stockholm, Sweden, January 1987. Under this heading I will tell some true stories from my career. I’m very proud of two things in my career so far. One is that during my eight years as responsible for the medical care of the inmates at a high-security detention centre in Stockholm we had not a single death within the compound. After I quit 2004 there have been at least four deaths as far as I know. Once though it was a close call, and this is the story:

One afternoon, when I was in the procedure of passing all the security gates and doors on my way home after work, I heard a call for me from the loudspeakers. It was nothing else to do than start the procedure to enter inside the security-shell once again. During a routine opening of a cell one inmate from one of the Baltic states was found in a very bad condition. He had cut himself and was bathing in his own blood. He was pale and very weak. The pools of blood on the floor had separated in its components so he must have been laying there for some hours. He could not speak Swedish nor could he speak English. He was not laying flat on the floor but he was stuck in some way in the door-opening to his toilet. When we entered the cell he was trying to say something, but it was impossible to understand. He then took his finger, dipped it in his own blood and wrote on the wall: “HIV

He made an effort to warn us!

The ambulance arrived to the scene and he was transported to Huddinge University Hospital and later returned in good condition after some transfusions. What happened with him later I don’t know. When you work at a detention centre you do not now who are still there tomorrow, who are released and who are transported elsewhere…

Me outside the detention centre, Häktet Huddinge, 2003.

2 responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: