Sunday, April 13, 2008

Malpractice of wounded soldier

This is gross: A Danish soldier is badly wounded in Afghanistan and when he's shipped home he gets totally neglected by staff in the Danish national hospital.

From Jyllands-Posten (link in Danish, my translation):
A Danish soldier lay eight hours in terrible pain without receiving any treatment.

He was badly wounded in Afghanistan when his platoon fell into an ambush that left one soldier dead and two others wounded. One of these was "Skjold" [meaning shield] who lost his leg and fractured the other as well as an arm. He also suffered severe injuries in the face.

He was shipped home and was admitted to what is supposed to be the best hospital in Denmark. Yeah, right:
The soldier had to wait in agony for eight long hours before a large shot of morphine finally relieved him from the pain.

"I couldn't move without screaming. That night was pure Hell," says Skjold.

At his side is his buddy, "Rolf."
[names are pseudonyms ed.] He has been following his friend's ordeal since Skjold came home on April 2.

According to Rolf, Skjold only received 2.5 milligram of morphine when he arrived at the hospital, not nearly enough and only one sixth of the dose he was given on the flight home. The bandages weren't changed for more than eight hours.
When it finally happened it stank like an abattoir.

"The dressings were soaked with fluids and the stench of rotten blood filled the room," says Rolf, who himself is an army medic.

Skjold have had his bandages changed five time, and every time he has to be under full anesthesia because of the pain. This requires him to be fasting for five hours before the procedure, but screw-ups and red tape in the hospital have left him starving and thirsting for as long as 20 hours.



This is bloody unacceptable! Every wounded soldier should get VIP-treatment. You know, the kind that the General Director of the hospital would get. Except of course, he would probably go to the US or Switzerland or Kazakhstan or wherever for treatment if he had any sense.

Don't let anyone fool you about socialized health care.

And to add insult to injury, the nurses are going on strike on Wednesday. Good luck, Skjold. You're gonna need it!

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In other Afghan-related news (and this is a little more uplifting) the Danish soldiers have just told the politicians in not so many words:

Shut the f*ck up and let us do our job!

following a debate in parliament about en exit date for the troops.
Again from Jyllands-Posten:
"We will stay in Afghanistan until our mission is completed, and the politicians should not discuss what year we will be pulled out," says the commander of the Royal Lifeguard regiment, Colonel Lasse Harkjær.
The discussion about an exit date began last week, when the center-left party "Radikale Venstre" suggested that the troops be pulled out by 2012. That idea received a lot of flak from most of the other parties and - as it is apparent - also from the grunts on the ground.

Way to go, boys!