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Italian surgeon should never have been hired by Karolinska, inquiry concludes

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 01 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4754
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

A trail of errors in the recruitment, management, and oversight of the high profile surgeon Paolo Macchiarini has damaged the reputation of clinical research in Sweden, an investigation has concluded.1

Macchiarini carried out three trachea transplants at the Karolinska University Hospital between 2011 and 2013, using artificial tracheas made of polymer and coated with stem cells. All went wrong: two patients died and one has been kept alive only by constant hospital care since her operation.

Macchiarini should never have been hired and the operations should not have been performed, an inquiry led by Kjell Asplund, chairman of the Swedish Council on Medical Ethics, has found.

“Much went wrong,” said Asplund when he presented the results of the inquiry in Stockholm on 31 August. “Macchiarini should not even have been employed at the hospital. There was never a job interview. Hospitals where …

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