Preventable medical mistakes investigation
Posted: March 15, 2016
Posted in: Medical Negligence
Preventable and serious medical mistakes, known as “never events”, have occurred in 1100 occasions since 2012, an investigation has revealed. The term “never events” is used for mistakes that should never have happened and are considered entirely negligent.
The investigation discovered that one male patient had his testicle amputated instead of a cyst being removed from it. A woman who was in hospital to have her appendix removed awoke to discover that her fallopian tubes had been removed instead. Around 420 patients have had to have foreign objects removed from their surgery site, including swabs, gauzes, needles and other surgical implements. Over 400 people have been recorded as having surgery on the wrong site of their bodies, for example the wrong limb being amputated. There were also incidences of blunders such as wrong medication being administered, medical tubes being inserted to the wrong part of a patient’s body which proved fatal, wrong organs being removed and wrong blood types being transfused.
“badly let down by utter carelessness”
Chief executive of the Patients Association, Katherine Murphy, stated that it was a disgrace that “never events” were still so prevalent in the health service. She pointed out that lessons were not being learned within the service when things went wrong, despite all of the procedures and processes that are continually being introduced. She said: “These 1100 patients have been very badly let down by utter carelessness”.
A spokeswoman for NHS England stated that: “One never event is too many and we mustn’t underestimate the effect on the patients concerned”.
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