COVID-19: Sweden to buy sedatives from Norway to meet shortage

It’s the most widely used intravenous anesthetic in the world and the novel coronavirus pandemic means it’s in short supply in many countries, including Sweden. A doctor put on her personal protective equipment (PPE) in a tent on the grounds of the Sophiahemmet private hospital on April 22, 2020 in Stockholm. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
Sweden’s Nordic neighbour Norway is offering a helping hand by meeting a shortage of the sedative drug propofol, one of the main anaesthetics used to help Covid-19 patients while they’re connected to ventilators in intensive care.

Emma Spak, the healthcare section manager for Sweden’s Municipalities and Regions tells Swedish Radio that they have received the go-ahead to buy medicinal drugs, such as propofol, from Norway’s health authority.

In Region Stockholm, which has been the epicentre of the virus in Sweden, supplies of the sedative that would normally last a month have been used up inside a week.

The extra delivery of the drug, which is expected this week, will be distributed among the regions according to need and is expected to last for one week.

Related stories from around the North:

Arctic: Roundup of COVID-19 responses around the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Canada: More than 100 people refused entry to Canada’s North under COVID-19 travel bans, CBC News

Finland: First Covid-19 death reported in southwestern Finnish Lapland, Yle News

Greenland: COVID-19: Arctic science expedition postpones flight campaign after trainee tests positive for virus, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Growing concern among Nordic officials over increased Arctic border traffic, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Almost 2,000 workers have contracted COVID-19 at this Russian Arctic construction site, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Living through Coronavirus – but how much will we remember in the future?, Radio Sweden

United States: COVID-19 pandemic raises hard questions about health disparities, says Int’l Inuit org, Eye on the Arctic

Sanna Drysén, Radio Sweden

To contact Sanna Drysén, you can send her an email: For more news from Sweden visit Radio Sweden.

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