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Britain amongst worst for leaving instruments in patients

17 | 08 | 15

By sds

Last week a report was published showing that hospitals in the UK have one of the worst records in the western world for leaving surgical instruments in patients after surgery.

The findings came from a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developments (OECD) that found around 5.5 cases were recorded per 100,000 patients discharged, this being the sixth worst record.

After conducting international research for the report, the shocking findings highlighted that in the year 2014/15 alone, 102 cases were reported in England.

In total 16 OECD countries were compared within the report; of these countries Poland had 1.9 cases per 100,000 with Slovenia having 2.9 cases per 100,000. Belgium recorded the fewest cases overall with 0.5 cases per 100,000.

A spokesman for NHS England said:

“Any mistake of this kind is one too many. We are determined to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world and have one of the most open and transparent reporting systems in place. We are working hard to identify practical ways to ensure such errors are eradicated.”

Hypodermic needles, swabs and forceps were just some of the items highlighted within the report that were left inside patients after surgery.

The study found the risk of such incidents happening were increased during emergency surgery, unplanned changes in procedures and staff changeovers during operations.

Such cases are known as ‘never events’ by the NHS, and are regarded as serious incidents that are completely preventable providing the correct guidance and safety recommendations are followed. Never events are serious incidents that have the potential to cause serious harm, and in some unfortunate cases these incidents can prove fatal for the patient.

Fortunately these cases, although ideally they would not happen at all, are a small minority within a large number of successful operations. Here in UK there are high standards of medical care, although evidently a situation like this or one similar can sadly occur.

As a team of professionals dealing with people who have suffered similar incidents, we understand wholly how distressing and complex such a situation can be. Not only on you, but also your family, and loved ones. These cases are known as medical or clinical negligence, where a patient has received below the level of care expected.

When faced with a situation similar to this, those affected can out put forward a clinical negligence claim. We are proud in the way we handle each case with not only an empathetic approach but also one which is focused entirely on getting both you, your family and your loved the support needed with your best interest in mind every step of the way.

If in the unfortunate circumstance you or someone you know has suffered due to some form of medical negligence, call us on 0808 9000 990 to discuss what your options.

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