“Never Events” – Medical tools left in patients and surgery performed on the wrong part of the body

During the past year, hundreds of patients undergoing hospital procedures have had instruments left inside them or have had surgery performed on the wrong part of their body. This is according to recent NHS figures that have been released on what are known as “never events” – mistakes that should not happen under any circumstances.

The NHS has increased the number and types of incidents classed as never events from 8 to 25 to include misidentification of a patient, incorrect use of insulin for diabetes, giving a transfusion with the wrong blood type, and the incorrect preparation of high-risk injectable medication.

Statistics show that there were 161 incidents in 2011-12 where foreign objects such as swabs, needles, screws, instruments and wires remained inside a patient after surgery. There were 70 incidents of surgery being conducted on the wrong part of the body. This included biopsies taken from the wrong side in breast cancer patients.

If you have experienced anything you consider was a ‘never event’ and wish to investigate the matter further, with a view to making a claim for compensation, then please contact our specialist solicitors, Steve Duddell (0117 945 3034, sduddell@metcalfes.co.uk) or  Jane Rogers  (0117 9290451, jrogers@metcalfes.co.uk) who will be happy to assist you.

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