10/03/2012 05:56 pm ET Updated Oct 04, 2012

Swedish Doctor Allowed 15-Year-Old Girl To Help Perform Caesarian Section In Operating Room

Officials at Malmö University Hospital in Sweden have apologized to a new mother after learning that a 15-year-old girl helped deliver her baby via caesarean section.

The woman gave birth last May, reports Swedish newspaper The Sydsvenskan, yet only learned of the girl's involvement in her surgery after reading about the incident in the local newspaper.

After the article was published, the new mom's surgeon called to admit that the teen, introduced prior to the surgery as an "assistant," had handled a scalpel and assisted in the operation.

I thought it was a medical student practicing patient contact, something that you do early on in your medical training," the mother explained to The Sydsvenskan as translated by The Local. "This is a university hospital so one must be prepared to meet students.”

According to The Local, the teenager was participating in a work experience program common to middle schools in Sweden. In addition to her role in the operating room, she also assisted in a separate delivery and performed a vaginal examination on a third patient.

Officials at Malmö initially dismissed the complaints, citing patient privacy, then later acknowledged the "shoddy" treatment, reports The Daily Mail.

Fortunately, both mother and newborn daughter are healthy and weren't harmed in the procedure. The Local says the family now wants to put the incident behind them.

Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from working in the operating room. An email to the board from The Huffington Post was not immediately returned.



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