Clinical Negligence

Retained surgical gauze following surgery

This medical negligence case arose out of the care provided to Mrs A.

On 19 July 2017, Mrs A was admitted for tension free vagina tape (TVT) cystoscopy and posterior repair. A cystoscopy is a procedure to look inside the bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope. A posterior repair involves repairing the weakened connective tissue which lies underneath the back wall of the vagina, between the vagina and the rectum.

On 20 July 2017, in recovery, it was discovered that a surgical gauze had been left in situ.

The event was investigated and classified as a ‘never event – retained swab’.

Mrs A contacted Christina in late January 2020, with around 7 months to the limitation date. There is a limitation period for pursuing compensation for injuries arising from clinical negligence. Court proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the date of the negligence or (if later) 3 years from the time it is first known or should have been known that an injury has occurred as a result of negligence. We therefore immediately requested an extension to this deadline, which was granted.

Upon receipt of medical records, a witness statement was drafted.

It became apparent that Mrs A may have suffered psychiatric harm as a result of the retained swab. Expert evidence was therefore obtained from a consultant psychiatrist.

A letter was sent to the Trust setting out our allegations of negligence. The hospital Trust responded and admitted liability. The case settled shortly thereafter for £4,000.

Christina Mallery specialises in claims related to ‘never events’ and retained foreign objects. If you would like to ask Christina a question about a potential clinical negligence claim, or if you have a general query about any personal injury claim, contact Christina at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701183 in confidence.

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