Data of NHS Shows, Drill Bits & Scalpels Left Inside Patients

Data of NHS “Never Events” Shows Drill Bits & Scalpels Left Inside Patients

Data of NHS “Never Events” Shows Drill Bits & Scalpels Left Inside Patients


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    According to a new analysis there have been almost 100 cases of a foreign object – including drill bits erroneously left inside NHS patients.

    The figures examined by the PA news agency show that about 407 “Never Events” were recorded in the NHS in England from April 2021 until March 2022. This is an average of nearly eight “never events” every week and shows a rather disturbing increase from the 364 cases in the same period the year before.

    In all, cases of foreign objects left inside a patient after a procedure occurred 98 times. Vaginal swabs were left in patients 32 times and surgical swabs were left 21 times.

    Objects like a pair of wire cutters, part of a scalpel blade, and the bolt from surgical forceps were left inside patients.

    Furthermore, there were three separate cases where part of a drill bit was left inside a patient. Also, one woman had her ovaries removed by mistake when the plan was to conserve them. The data also revealed that six patients had injections to the wrong eye.

    Figures also showed 171 cases of wrong site surgery

    A breakdown revealed that the wrong hip implant was undergone 12 times, a wrong knee implant was done 11 times, and patients were connected to air instead of oxygen 13 times.

    For seven other people, the wrong blood was transfused while a patient had a procedure to their breast without their consent.

    The data also showed that an overdose of insulin was administered 11 times while an overdose of the immunosuppressant Methotrexate occurred twice.

    This data also shows the difference in the reporting of errors between NHS trusts, with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust reporting the highest number –11 in all.

    drill bits scalpels left inside patients

    Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust both reported 10 in total, while Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, all reported nine each.

    The NHS defines Never Events as “serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if healthcare providers have implemented existing national guidance or safety recommendations”.

    An NHS spokesperson said: “While these events are extremely rare, and NHS staff are working hard to provide safe care to patients, it is important that events are reported and learned from so that they can be prevented in the future.”

    A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson also added saying: “Patient safety is a top priority for the Government and these unfortunate events – although very rare – can have a serious physical and psychological impact on patients. We are implementing the NHS Patient Safety Strategy which is designed to support staff to provide safe care and learn lessons.”

    “There are record numbers of nurses, doctors and overall staff working in the NHS, and we have set out our plan to tackle the Covid backlog, backed by record investment.”

    What We Do To Help Our Clients

    In the course of representing clients with NHS negligence claims, we have also acted on behalf of clients who have suffered cases of NHS “Never Events”- most especially surgical negligence. These clients have had their lives changed significantly as a result of the impact of these mistakes.

    For these persons we were dedicated to give them the best legal advice and worked to get them the highest possible compensation amounts all under our no win no fee policy.

    Reach out to us by calling our emergency helplines number 0800 644 4240 to speak with one of our expert NHS negligence solicitors and set up a free consultation session to discuss your claims and begin the process of getting you the justice you deserve.

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