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Needle left inside patient following surgery

Posted in: Medical Negligence NHS Claims 

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised for a recent incident involving a patient leaving surgery with a needle still inside them. It was discovered that, despite the patient having left the operating theatre at the end of the procedure, one of the surgical needles had been left under the patient’s skin.

This follows a previous incident that took place at Derriford Hospital earlier in the month, whereby a naso-gastric tube – used for feeding and administering medication – was ‘misplaced’. Both of these accidents have been noted in a board agenda of the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Worrying number of “never events”

Luckily neither of the patients were harmed by the incidents that happened earlier in the month, but both have been termed “never events” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC heavily criticised the actions of the hospital as the number of “never events” were of a worrying standard. An investigation in June looked into eight serious incidents that had occurred over the previous year, believing that all of them should never have happened.

The trust refused to provide any more information regarding the “retained needle incident” as investigations are still being carried out. Trust medical director Philip Hughes said: “Safety is at the heart of what we do. The number of incidents is decreasing and the frequency of harm to patients is decreasing.” 

Last month saw the CQC moving the hospital down from a band four to a band five on its risk list, with band one representing the highest risk and band six the lowest.

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