Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board Investigated North Wales Wrong Surgeries
The three incidents being investigated were serious that they could have caused the death of the patients. These included two "wrong site" surgeries and one where a patient was left with a medical swab inside their body.
The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in its report revealed that two of the cases were described as "wrong site surgery", and the term is used to refer to a surgery performed on the wrong area of the patient, the wrong patient, or the wrong procedure.
These incidents are also part of what is called "never events" as they are not expected to happen even as guidance is available and should have been implemented.
The third incident under investigation relates to a swab having been left inside a patient.
Acting associate director of quality for Betsi Cadwaladr, Matthew Joyes, said in one wrong site incident the surgeon was "new to the health board".
"Initial inquiries suggest that the surgeon had not received training to enable him to view the images, and acted purely on the [incorrect] report, which contributed to the incident.
"A range of immediate safety measures have been implemented... including dual working of surgeons on call."
After the incident where a swab was left inside a patient, theatre teams have been reminded about the protocols regarding checking all swabs, sharps and other instruments at the end of an operation.
Staff Shortages And Poor Communication
The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board report also showed that 17 patient falls on health board sites were recorded between February and March which resulted in severe or permanent harm.
"On review of initial learning from these incidents, there are several themes that can be identified that contribute to these falls," said Mr Joyes.
Factors which are considered responsible for these falls included staff shortages, inadequate documentation and poor communication between staff or with families.
Also, within the same period under review, the board received 364 complaints and 64 claims or potential claims for clinical negligence or personal injury.
The report says that such complaints and clinical negligence claims were expected to rise significantly due to direct or indirect effects of Covid which resulted in delays.
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You can receive appropriate compensation for surgical errors if you or your loved one has suffered as a result of surgical negligence.
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Some of the negligent actions that constitutes surgical negligence include the following;
- Carrying out the wrong surgery
- Wrong site surgery
- Retained objects
- Poorly administered anaesthesia
- Negligence leading to infection after a surgery
- Preventable nerve damage or organ damage
Where such surgical negligence occurs, it can put the life of the patient in serious danger or may even lead to death.
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