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Over 750 "never events" occur in hospitals in England

Published on 10/05/2013

Over 750 patients in England’s hospitals have suffered highly avoidable mistakes over the past four years, reports the BBC.

Instruments were left inside patients 332 times

A BBC investigation looked at the occurrence of blunders between 2009 to 2012 such as leaving instruments inside patients and operating on the wrong part of the body.

These types of incidents are labelled “never events” by the Department of Health because they are so serious they should never happen.

The department have identified 25 incidents that warrant the “never event” certification because if national safety recommendations were followed they would never occur.

Data was attained following a Freedom of information request from the BBC.

It showed more than 300 cases of foreign objects being left inside patient’s bodies and over 200 cases of surgery on the incorrect part of the body. The other two categories involved 73 cases of nutritional or medication tubes being inserted into the lungs and 58 cases of incorrect fittings of implants or prostheses.

The NHS says the risk of a ‘never event’ happening to you is one in 20,000 but these 750 occurrences were too many.

One example was that of Donna Bowcett whose constant abdominal pain proved to be a pair of seven inch forceps left in her body following keyhole surgery to remove her gallbladder.

 The former nurse only discovered the mistake when she underwent an MRI scan that attracted the metal in her body which was then subsequently removed. The nurse had to quit her job as a result of the mistake.

Dr Mike Durkin, director of patient safety for NHS England, told the BBC in a radio interview: "Every single ‘never event’ is one too many.

"We need to understand what it is, in some systems and in some hospitals, that the team working hasn't produced an effective outcome and a mistake, and a 'never event' has occurred.”

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  HealthMedicalNHS and Hospitals
Over 750 "never events" occur in hospitals in EnglandOver 750 patients in England’s hospitals have suffered highly avoidable mistakes over the past four years, reports the BBC. Instrume    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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