Melon-sized mass found in patient after hospital blunder
A former patient at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital was found to have a swab left inside of him following an operation 13 years ago. His wife said that living with the object inside of him had damaged his health and had caused him severe pain before his death. An inquest will be held in Ampthill that may reveal how the object affected his quality of life. Patients in Essex hospitals may be comforted to know that the World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery Checklist reduces the chances of an incident such as this occurring.
The swab was spotted in 2014 after scans detected an object in the man’s pelvic region. Since his operation over a decade earlier, a lump had attached itself to the swab and had grown to the size of a melon. It was pressing on his internal organs, but before he could undergo an operation to have the object removed he was diagnosed as having cancer and died soon after.
The father of two married his wife in 1964 and she spoke of the anger and loss she felt at his loss and the poor treatment he had received. Not only did the hospital make the initial mistake of leaving behind a swab in 2001, but it also to failed to spot the object on a scan he had in 2003. Speaking to the press, a spokesperson for the hospital said that an internal review into the incident had been undertaken and an apology made to the man’s family.
Hospital errors can affect a patient’s quality of life for many years after the incident, and a solicitor who has successfully handled similar cases may be able to offer effective legal counsel to assist a client. The compensation for medical negligence may take into consideration the impact the incident has had on a person’s everyday life.