NRK, Radio Norway

I have very fond memories of NRK and Radio Norway. They had very nice shows on shortwave with music requests and greetings to the Norwegian seamen far away from home. On mediumwave they had a very very powerful transmitter on 1314 kHz. When I was on duty at Lycksele lasarett, the little hospital in Lycksele and had one of the pretty rare opportunities to go downstairs to get some rest, NRK on 1314 kHz was the only station I could receive on my tiny little receiver.

I remember in the 80s when I lived in Flemingsberg I heard when the hosts of a nighttime show called the Soviet Embassy in Oslo and asked them how they would celebrate the CIA ,which had some kind of anniversary that day!

NRK Radio Norway


NRK Radio Norway b

Dr Wennberg’s Casebook: Guided by my Guardian Angel

ONE day, 1987, when I, as a very unexperienced doctor, was on duty at the emergency department of  the little hospital in Lycksele in Northern Sweden I got a telephone call from an even more unexperienced doctor. He worked in a small place nearer to the Norwegian border, some 300 km away. He told me he wanted to discuss a couple of  patients. The first was a man who had acquired an inguinal hernia, with pain but without alarming symptoms and signs. He was very detailed describing this man. Later, more or less by the way he mentioned: “And then I have a Norwegian tourist here who got  abdominal pain in intervals with radiation to his back, while driving his car…”

I could have said something else but said: “The first man you can send an ordinary referral on by mail, but the Norwegian guy you have to send here to Lycksele at once.” (Remember the distance.) The other doctor said: “Shall I let his wife drive him to you?” I could have said something else but said: “No, send him by ambulance, as his condition could become worse.”  (This was before helicopters came in more frequent use for transports over distances.)

The hours flew away and was busy with other patients. Just before it was time for me to leave the hospital for the day I heard someone say: “The Norwegian tourist has arrived!”  I went into the small examination room and found a man 60+ ash-grey in his face and sweating. Obviously he had abdominal pain. I put my hand on his abdomen and felt a huge resistance bulging and pulsating. I immediately called in the surgical team and the patient was informed about the seriousness of his condition. He took a possible last farewell of his wife before he was rolled into the operation theater. The operation took many hours, and I was assisting the surgeon. Of course the patient had an abdominal aortic aneurysm but it had also ruptured! The hole, thick as a finger, was lucky for him, directed backwards into the retroperitoneal spatium which was filled with a liter or two of blood. (If it had ruptured at the ventral aspect he would have been dead within a minute.) Luckily it was possible to cut the aorta safely under the renal arteries and he got a teflone-graft in the shape as a pair of trousers. The man’s life was saved and he could some days later return to Norway.

I was lucky too, making a series of correct decisions. It wasn’t by experience obviously. Was it good intuition? Was it gut-feeling? Or was I advised by my Guardian Angel…

Dr Wennberg’s Casebook: Four Lives Wasted

Just a reminder: All cases in this series are real and are described as it was, or at least as I can recall them. The stories are not fake or fiction.

If you are sensitive to explicit descriptions, be warned!

February 1987 was a really cold month in Northern Sweden, with temperatures down to -32 degrees C. I worked as a young resident at the small hospital in Lycksele. One late Friday afternoon when I prepared to leave the Emergency Dept. for the day the telephone rang:

A car accident with many injured! was the message.

I stayed in case my help was needed, but the telephone rang once again…

All are dead…

OK, I prepared to return home when the telephone rang a third time:

Perhaps we should have a doctor at the scene! said the policeman.

As a young doctor willing to answer a call beyond duty I decided to offer my help…

What had happened?

This was when it was mandatory for all Swedish men to serve in the Swedish army for about one year. The weekend travel possibilities for the servicemen were generous. Three young men that had landed at Skellefteå airport could use a rental car for the weekend to get to their homes. The car was a new Saab. One of the three young men didn’t like that the driver drove too fast and careless, so he asked to get off the car in order to visit an aunt or something like that. This saved his life…

 It was perfect winter driving conditions. A lot of snow increasing the effects of the headlights. The road surface was ice perforated by the studs on the winter tyres. Typically good winter driving conditions, if you drive with care and good judgement. But the boys drove way to fast, and couldn’t keep the inner curve, and in a long bend to the right they collided front to front in high speed with an elderly couple driving in ordinary speed. When I arrived at the scene the couple’s car was removed. The boy’s car had flown through the air and landed wheels down on a field. I don’t remember the distance but there were no tracks in the snow from the road. The two young men’s car had caught fire and they sat, due to the impact, where the backseat would have been. They looked like mummies. Steam and smoke still evaporated from the bodies. If you touched them pieces of them fell off. At least one of the skulls was cracked and a coagulated brain’s surface was visible. On the wrists, where the hands were burnt off, their watches showed the time at the impact. If I remember correct it was 17:05. In their shirt pockets you could see the metal parts of their Ballograf Epoca ballpoint pens. Button, clip, cartridge, and spring in a neat line on the chest. All plastic parts were burnt off. I tried to walk around the car in the thick snow, trying to identify what was burnt body parts and what was not.

The situation was surreal. It was cold. It was silent. The sky was clear and huge green curtains of the most spectacular Northern Lightning I’ve ever seen moved slowly…

Four lives wasted…

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