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Midlands hospital investigating forceps left inside patient after surgery

A hospital is investigating how a pair of metal surgical forceps were left inside a patient after they had been stitched up after abdominal surgery.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust has apologised unreservedly and said the incident at Redditch’s Alexandra hospital was “exceptionally rare”.

The medical blunder only became apparent after a seven-hour abdominal procedure last month, according to BBC Midlands, when the forceps were reported to be missing.

The worst fears of medics were confirmed when the missing 15cm arterial clamp was found by an X-ray while the patient was still under anaesthetic.

The surgical instrument could not be immediately removed and the patient was moved to intensive care overnight before another operation was performed the next day to retrieve the clamp.

It is understood the trust’s investigation will look at whether the required double-checking of all instruments was conducted before the patient was stitched up after surgery. It will also examine the end of operation signing-out process, which is supposed to ensure such errors do not happen.

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Source: The Guardian, 23 December 2022


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