Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lyme physician in Sweden needs support

This came across my desk this morning. I cleaned up the translation a bit and decided to post it here as another data point, contextualizing the treatment of patients and the censure of Lyme physicians in the EU. Here in the States, we assume that diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and coinfections in the EU is more progressive and more widely available than in the US. This doesn't seem to be the case in Sweden, at least. If you know otherwise, please leave a comment. 


We have a doctor in Sweden who has saved many lives, and is now risking losing his medical license. The reason is that he treated some severe cases of tick infection, and prescribed more advanced treatment than current practice in Sweden permits. We need help to organize support for Dr. Kenneth Sandström. 

A doctor's primary mission is to alleviate suffering and cure, which Dr. Sandstrom did​​, whereas other doctors for years failed to make the diagnosis and to give proper treatment because of carelessness and ignorance. He is a doctor, who with great empathy and expertise, has dedicated a lot of time helping his patients. He achieves additionally a result that the conventional health care does not come close to. Swedish doctors spends the least time in Europe on their patients, partly because our health care system is built around economicinterests rather than patient need. 

He is a member of ILADS and has learned from the best specialists in the world, with extensive knowledge of the complex Borrelia bacterium and its co-infections. He has participated in conferences around the world to gain a unique insight. In Sweden skills among doctors and other health professionals is often lower than should be, in large part because there is no requirement for continuing education, as there is in most other countries. 

Tick-borne disease treatment in Sweden has low priority, even though there are around 40,000 patients a year who contract Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections (according Scand Tick). The big problem is that about 5 to 10% of those affected by Lyme disease develop long-term, chronic symptoms, and these patients are in most cases without any help from health care. There are some doctors in Sweden who recognize this issue. Although they may recognize the most difficult and characteristic symptoms and can see the patient's suffering, they do not dare to treat, for fear of being reported and potentially lose their licenses. If Dr. Sandstrom loses his license, other doctors will have additional reason to avoid effective and agressive treatments for desperately-needy and suffering patients. 

Lyme disease is a rapidly progressive disease worldwide and, due to global warming, the spread is likely to increase even moreso in the future. Anyone can contract this disease,  receive misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. This can lead to unnecessary suffering and long term illness and incapacitation. ILADS recommendations for treatment therapy regarding persistent Lyme disease has been proven in studies. Over 90% get better or completely well. 

It is important that Swedish doctors treat and cure their patients without fear of any reprisals. The US now has in place some laws designed to protect those doctors under similar conditions. Our support for Dr. Sandstrom provides guidance and our hope is that it will encourage other doctors to learn more about tick-borne diseases, and to treat according to ILADS recommendations. Punishing Dr. Sandstrom because he has chosen to continue his education in the field and let the knowledge be of benefit to the patients is totally unacceptable! 

It is therefore important that as many people as possible add their names to this petition! 

Borrelia & TBE compound Sweden

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