‘Frequency of Surgical Errors a Worry within Lancashire Hospitals’ Asons Solicitors Comment

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This week has seen the release of statistics detailing the prevalence of surgical errors within Central Lancashire hospitals. The figures show how many instances there were of surgical items being left inside patients, with the instruments only found after the procedure.

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While patients may be aware that there are risks related to surgery, these are presumed to be anesthesia or procedure related; I certainly wouldn’t consider a surgical item being left behind to be an inherent risk.

This week has seen the release of statistics detailing the prevalence of surgical errors within Central Lancashire hospitals (1). The figures show how many instances there were of surgical items being left inside patients, with the instruments only found after the procedure.

According to the Lancashire Evening Post, data released from a ‘Freedom of Information’ request shows that between 2009-10 and 2012-13 a total of eighteen patients were found to have had items left inside of them, following surgical procedures. The hospitals involved were the ‘Royal Preston Hospital’ and ‘Chorley and South Ribble District General’ (1).

Understood to be clinical negligence, as reported in the Lancashire Evening Post, the surgical items left behind included – a piece of a drill, a part of a tap, a piece of a blade, a throat pack, a drain tube, a catheter tip, swabs, needle tips and gold pins (1).

Considered to be an entirely preventable surgical error, the damage caused from surgical items being left inside patients can range from being harmless to life threatening (2). If the implement left behind is particularly sharp, there is the obvious risk that it may puncture vital organs and blood vessels, causing internal bleeding. When left in the body fester, fabric items such as swabs can cause infections, with potentially severe health implications.

When asked to respond to the figures, medical director Sean Hughes, made the following comment (1)–

“There is inherent risk in undertaking any surgical procedure, which we explain fully to patients before their operation”

After reading the above assertion, Asons Executive Laura Williams, stated the following -

“While patients may be aware that there are risks related to surgery, these are presumed to be anesthesia or procedure related; I'm not sure I would consider a surgical item being left behind to be an inherent risk.

Avoidable surgical errors can be considered to be clinical negligence; questions need to be asked as to why this is such an issue within these two hospitals, and whether their procedures need revising.”

In the event that you consider yourself to have been subject to a surgical error, you must seek legal advice as quickly as possible. Taking action can prevent the same situation from reoccurring, helping others to avoid injury in future.

If you, or someone you know, have suffered as a result medical negligence, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim. Asons Solicitors deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis, you can contact them on: 0844 850 1062 or you can fill out their claim form at http://www.asons.co.uk

-Sources-

(1) ‘Part of Drills and Pins Were Left Inside Hospital Patients’ 10/06/2013, Lancashire Evening Post, lep.co.uk/news/local/part-of-drill-and-pins-were-left-inside-hospital-patients-1-5753411
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retained_surgical_instruments

About Asons Solicitors:

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:

Email: info (at) asons (dot) co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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