Healthcare professionals who have treated covid patients risk mental illness in both the short and long term, it appears from risk assessments from nine different hospitals that SVT Nyheter has read.

Concerns about ethical issues, stress over having too many patients, insufficient support, and lack of recovery are some examples of risks that are pointed out. 

- I think there are some who will have problems afterwards. As an intensive care physician, you are used to it, but it is clear that you get stressed, says Christina Agvald Öhman, chief physician at the intensive care unit and union representative at Karolinska Hospital in Huddinge.

At Ryhov County Hospital in Jönköping, the risks have been analyzed and it is concluded that insufficient recovery for the staff at the covid-19 unit can have catastrophic consequences. 

Lack of protective equipment and medicine created stress

In addition to the medical and ethical stress, the lack of protective equipment and medicines has added another serious stress, Karolinska Hospital concludes in its risk assessment. 

A report published at the Center for Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the Stockholm Region now flags the employer's responsibility to take into account the mental illness of healthcare staff. 

- There are new covid studies that show an increased incidence of depressive symptoms, anxiety and sleep problems, says Lene Lindberg, associate professor and psychologist.

Rapid spread and unknown course created catastrophic situations

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and unknown disease processes during the spring forced several of Sweden's hospitals to go into a state of intensification or disaster. At the same time, there was little or no evidence-based research to take part in. For example, doctors had to deal with many acute, unfamiliar, tube blockages on patients.

- You are maybe five minutes from a cardiac arrest, and it is important to change these tubes as fast as a thousand. There have been many such incidents, says Christina Agvald Öhman. 

At the same time, advanced operations and other specialist care await in the autumn. A survey produced by the Swedish Medical Association shows that 85 percent of doctors feel anxious about the care debt. 

The Healthcare Association also emphasizes the need for time for recovery, and is now sounding the alarm ahead of the employers' scheduling this autumn. 

- If the employer does not do enough, we will see increased sickness rates this autumn, says Sineva Ribeiro, chairman of the Healthcare Association.