Swab left in patient after surgery

Posted by John White on

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BLClaims Solicitors has obtained £50,000 damages in compensation for Miss H from St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust.

In 1987 Miss H underwent an operation on her back to remove a benign tumour. Although the tumour was benign the surgery had some effects on her spinal cord. She was noted to have made a good recovery. On 15 June 1988 Miss H was readmitted for investigations into back pain and numbness. Over the next three months the pain worsened. There was then a long period during which she did not have any medical help until 2005.

Miss H was seen by a rheumatologist and a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis was made. In June 2006 Miss H attended her GP complaining of acute thoracic back pain. She was very worried because she thought it might be a recurrence of the tumour from 20 years ago.

An MRI scan was arranged which showed a soft tissue mass. Miss H was given the choice of undergoing a surgical biopsy or re-imaging again in 3-4 months. Miss H opted to have surgery. As a result of the constant pain, Miss H gave up her job in 2006.

In December 2006 she was admitted to hospital and had exploration of her thoracic wound. During the operation a foreign body was removed. This was later identified as an old retained swab from the original operation in 1987. Miss H has since made a very good recovery and has had no more pain.

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About the Author

Doctor and Solicitor Advocate John White leads the Clinical Negligence team. His medical background gives him a unique perspective and he has an excellent track record of achieving success for clients.

John White
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