Paula lives with forgotten metal wires in her body


In December 2008, Paula Yahiaoui Pettersson was to have surgery to remove cancer that had spread to the liver. But since it was not possible to get rid of all the cancer, Paula was instead told that she would continue to be treated with chemotherapy, a form of cytotoxic drugs.

– I became sad, scared and worried, says Paula.

It started beeping

She had already had surgery for cancer of the stomach in 2000 and 2007 and in 2008 she had not expected a recurrence in the liver but instead a recovery.

– I was 33 years old and wondered how many years I had left.

For 12 years, Paula has now been treated for her cancer. In January of this year, her doctor wanted to do a magnetic camera examination, but it barely started before it had to be interrupted.

– It started to beep and indicate that I had metal in my body, says Paula.

Twelve years with metal wires in the body

X-rays taken over the past twelve years show that Paula has lived with a 36 centimeter long and 2 millimeter thick metal wire in her body. It had served as the leader of a venous catheter used in the operation in 2008 – and has been forgotten.

– How could they forget a 36 cm long wire and not discover it during all the years? Paula wonders.

The metal wire has now split and some have grown stuck in Paulas groin. The other, which is 5.6 cm long, has grown stuck in Paulas right atrium.

– It feels worrying, she says.

– They say that cases are restricted after ten years, and in my case twelve years went by. But how would I know? Paula wonders. Photo: SVT / Christian S Zetterdahl

Dangerous to remove the metal wire

The health service has reported Paulas case to the Swedish Health and Care Inspectorate, Ivo. The surgeon who comments in the report claims that it is not possible to operate on the pieces of wire due to the risk of clots or bleeding.

Over the years, Paula has had numbness in one arm and leg and sought medical attention, but no infarcts or clots have been identified. Paula has still sent a claim to the patient insurance, Lof, but has no hopes of any compensation.

– They say that cases become statute-barred after ten years, and in my case it took twelve years. But how would I know, Paula wonders.

Paula looks ahead

After all, Paula, who is 45 years old today, sees everything that has happened with confidence in the future.

– From the very beginning, I have been grateful to my family and my children. I want to see them grow up, start a family and who knows, one day maybe I will become a grandmother, says Paula.

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