UK doctors leave 722 objects inside patients in 1 year

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 16:57 hrs

London: As many as 722 objects were said to have been left inside patients in 2008 alone, courtesy careless medical staff and botched operations.

Using a Freedom of Information request, a British tabloid investigated a long list of grave mistakes made by NHS staff in the past two years.

The Sun came up with a dossier of errors revealing eye popping accounts of carelessness, ranging from operating instruments, such as pliers, scalpels, coils and swabs, being left inside patients' bodies, to the sick being dumped in hospital bathrooms when wards were full.

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As many as 11 people were "seriously harmed" during NHS ops every day, it was claimed.

Other serious errors at NHS hospitals in England included failing to sterilise equipment, wrongly administering drugs on a regular basis and giving patients the wrong blood type.

In the list of horrific mistakes was the case of a man who was left infertile after surgeons at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds removed part of the wrong testicle.

In a separate incident at Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust, an eight-year-old suffered brain damage when medical staff failed to monitor the child properly after an ear, nose and throat operation.

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Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "We have to ensure that patient safety isn't being compromised to satisfy the whims of Whitehall.

"There really is no excuse for leaving objects inside people. Far too many avoidable mistakes are still being made.

"If we really want to raise standards in the NHS we need to give local people the power to hold their health services to account."

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