Wrong teeth removed and hip surgery error

THE wrong teeth being removed, and a biopsy being carried out on the incorrect part of the body, were among hospital mistakes reported in East Sussex in 2010 and 2011.

No lasting harm was caused to patients as a result of these errors, classed as Never Events, according to the NHS trust that runs the Conquest Hospital.

Never Events are very serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the relevant preventative measures have been put in place.

Information obtained from the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust show that between October 2010 and November 2011, seven Never Events were reported.

Prior to April 2011, incidents recorded are those from the Conquest and Eastbourne DGH only, and include wrong hip surgery, a proctoscope left in a patient following surgery, and an incorrect site biopsied.

After April 2011, incidents listed also include those reported from community services.

These were, part of a retractor (surgical instrument) left in a patient after surgery, a guidewire left in a patient following an insertion of a central venus pressure line, wrong teeth extracted, and failure to remove a throat pack following dental surgery.

A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The trust takes patient safety extremely seriously. While we cannot comment on individual cases, we can stress that no lasting harm came to any patients involved in these Never Events.

“There have been fundamental changes to procedures since these incidents, including the adoption of World Health Organisation check lists in all areas where invasive procedures occur both inside and outside the trust’s main operating theatres.

“We report Never Events to ensure lessons are learnt and local people should be reassured that a culture exists within the trust to learn from incidents and minimise the risk of any recurrence.”