Outlook Improves for Guðmundur Felix

guðmundur felix

Following four surgeries in the past week, Guðmundur Felix’s infections show signs of lessening. The operations seem to be cause for hope, with Guðmundur Felix stating that he expects to keep his arms.

“This isn’t completely finished, but there are indications that it’s heading in the right direction,” Guðmundur Felix stated to RÚV. “I have, at least temporarily, overcome this uncertainty.”

Read more: Guðmundur Felix May Lose His Arms A Second Time

Guðmundur Felix expressed his concern that he may lose his arms a second time last week, when an infection caused him and his medical team to suspect that his body had begun rejecting his arms. After losing both arms to a severe electric shock, his 2021 surgery was one of the world’s first double arm transplants.

His most recent symptoms included swelling in his arms, loosening fingernails, and spots on his arms that may have been an immune response. Following steroid injections under his fingernails, his condition did not improve much, and two weeks ago Guðmundur Felix noticed red spots that had formed on his hands.

Last week, the spots had multiplied significantly. Guðmundur Felix stated to RÚV that it was a clear indication of an allergic reaction. He sent a picture to his medical team, who brought him in for immediate treatment. At the hospital, his team determined that his body was rejecting his arm and began treatment immediately.

He was promptly placed on an aggressive regimen of steroids meant to suppress his immune system for some time. Guðmundur Felix received his last dose of these steroids last Friday. During the night, he woke up with pain in his elbow and noticed that his arm was swelling.

Because of this significant immune suppression, he contracted a serious infection in his arm. In order to ease the swelling, his arm was opened with an incision, which will be surgically narrowed in the coming days. His team expects that the incision can be fully closed in the coming week. Guðmundur Felix is undergoing surgery on Tuesday, where it will be examined. He then needs to be on antibiotics until May 20.

“The worst thing we can do is to do this too quickly. It’s possible that something small could be trapped inside and cause an infection,” he stated.

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Although it’s been a particularly difficult couple of weeks for Guðmundur Felix, he reiterated his gratitude for his family and all the support he has received from his fellow Icelanders.

“I have a wonderful wife, a wonderful mother, daughters and friends. That’s invaluable when you’re dealing with a situation like this,” he said.

 

Guðmundur Felix May Lose His Arms A Second Time

guðmundur felix

Guðmundur Felix, an Icelander famous for being the recipient of one of the world’s first-ever double arm transplants, may be in danger of losing his arms for a second time.

While working as an electronics engineer in 1998, Guðmundur Felix received a high-voltage shock while working on power lines. Suffering an 8 metre [26 foot] fall, he broke his back and fractured his neck and ribs. Following a period of unconsciousness, he awoke to find that his arms had been amputated.

In January 2021, however, he was one of the first people in the world to receive a double-arm transplant. He currently lives in Lyon in France, where he has found a medical team that specialises in such operations.

Read more: Guðmundur Felix Talks About His Arm Transplant

Now, unfortunately, he may be in danger of losing his arms again.

Guðmundur Felix’s full statement can be found below on social media.

 

Approximately a year and a half after his surgery, his body may be rejecting his arms. Guðmundur Felix began noticing tell-tale signs of the rejection recently, which included red spots on his arms and fingernails falling out.

Generally, such rejections of transplanted limbs occur sooner after the surgery, but late rejections are not unheard of.

In his statement, he also said that he is currently on a strong regimen of steroids that acts as a “bomb” on his immune system, which may suppress his body’s rejection of the limb.

 

Can I take Dayquil with me to Iceland?

dayquil iceland

Yes, you can.

Dayquil is a popular cough medicine sold in the US and elsewhere, with active ingredients acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine. Notably, and to the mild frustration of some travellers with a cold, it’s not available in Iceland.

You are, however, allowed to travel with a personal supply of Dayquil or equivalent cough medicine, with a supply of no more than 30 days of doses for personal use.

If you’re in Iceland with a cold and don’t have access to Dayquil, then your best bet at the pharmacy will be paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen), a common medicine for mild fever and pain, available under different brand names.

There is, of course, one sure cure for the common cold: time and rest!

Iceland’s Proposed Legislation Contradicts Code of Ethics, Doctors Say

Dómsmálaráðherra Ríkisstjórn Alþingi Jón Gunarsson

 Doctors in Iceland will be forced to choose between obeying the law or obeying their international code of ethics if the government passes its proposed amendments to the Immigration Act, the chairperson of the Icelandic Medical Association stated in an interview with RÚV. The proposed legislation would grant Icelandic police the authority to force physical examinations on asylum seekers. The legislation was introduced by Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson and has been criticised by human rights organisations in Iceland.

Forced testing, physical examination, and handing over of medical records

“In this 19th article, as it is worded, the police are given very broad powers to force people to undergo various interventions: testing, physical examination, and more. And also to hand over medical records, which are sensitive, confidential information. This completely contradicts doctors’ code of ethics,” Steinunn Þórðardóttir, chair of the Icelandic Medical Association stated.

“The World Medical Association’s Declaration of Geneva [the modern-day Hippocratic Oath] reads as follows: the health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration. We wonder how these two things can go together and actually see it as a complete impossibility. If this becomes law, we are put in the position of having to choose between complying with national law or the international code of ethics for doctors,” Steinunn remarked.

Doctors would need to believe deportation is in patient’s best interest

The Association’s formal comments on the proposed legislation strongly criticise the proposed changes. “If a foreigner that is set to be deported is forced to undergo such examination, it can be assumed the person is opposed to being deported. Individuals in this position tend to have complex issues, often due to post-traumatic stress, and are being deported back to situations where they consider their life and health to be at risk. By issuing the aforementioned certificate, a doctor would need to consider that such deportation from the country would be in the best interest of the person in question, according to the aforementioned code of ethics,” the comments read.

The comments continue: “Respect for the patient and mutual trust are the basis of medical practice. An action such as [forcing physical examination] works against patients’ interests and human rights, and we consider it to be in conflict with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.”

University Receives Record Number of Medical and Physiotherapy Applicants

Háskóli Íslands University of Iceland

A record number of students – 433, to be exact – have registered to take the admissions test to enter the University of Iceland’s programs in medicine and physiotherapy, RÚV reports. There has never before been such a large group of applicants to these programs.

Three hundred and forty-four students have registered to take the medical program entrance exam, which is an increase of 21 students over last year. The physiotherapy program has 99 applicants, which is only one more than last year. All of the applicants take the same test.

The medical program will admit 60 students; 35 students will be admitted to physiotherapy. How many students are admitted to each program depends on how many residency spots are open in hospitals.

Subsidising Drug is “Milestone” in the Fight Against HIV

landspitali national university hospital iceland

The Icelandic Medicine Pricing and Reimbursement Committee has approved the subsidy of Emtricitabine/ Tenofovir disoproxil Krka for HIV prevention, mbl.is reports. The drug combination, often known as the PrEP treatment, helps prevent HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. Though the treatment has long been available in Iceland, it was not subsidised by the government.

“The Chief Medical Officer believes that the Medicine Pricing Committee’s decision is a milestone in the fight against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as the Chief Medical Officer and a task force of the Minister of Health on prevention of sexually transmitted diseases have previously pointed out the importance of this step,” a statement on the Directorate of Health website reads.

The approval is valid for a one-year period and will be re-evaluated based on cost and number of individuals who seek the treatment.

Those who are interested in taking advantage of the above treatment are advised to make an appointment at the National University Hospital by telephone at 543-6040.