Ipswich: Action taken in wake of “never event” where surgical swab was left inside patient at Ipswich Hospital

Hospital bosses have concluded an investigation into a serious incident involving a patient

Hospital bosses have concluded an investigation into a serious incident involving a patient

A SURGICAL swab was left inside a patient following surgery at Ipswich Hospital, an investigation into the serious incident has revealed.

Hospital bosses launched a probe into the “never event” – recorded as such to highlight the seriousness of the incident – as soon as staff reported it.

That investigation concluded at the end of last month, prompting an action plan to ensure similar incidents are prevented in the future.

Jan Ingle, hospital spokeswoman, said: “A very careful investigation has just ended in the care of a patient, who, following an operation was found to have a retained swab.

“The investigation has been submitted to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and the National Trust Development Agency.

“The patient came to no harm but a very detailed action plan is already in place to make sure that such an event does not happen again.”

It is understood the patient needed no further surgery to remove the swab.

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The list of never events has been extended by the Department of Health from eight to 25 in recent years.

It includes misidentification of a patient, putting a feeding tube down the nose into the lungs instead of the stomach, incorrect use of insulin for diabetes and transfusing a patient with the wrong blood type.

In addition surgery carried out by medics on the wrong part of a patients’ body, medical instruments or swabs being left inside the body of a patient leading to a second operation to remove the items and chemotherapy prescribed to a patient but given incorrectly are examples listed on the NHS website.

The vast majority of never events happen during or after surgery.

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