A man was mistakenly circumcised as a result of doctors mixing up patient’s paperwork.
A recent NHS report revealed the man was supposed to undergo a cystoscopy – a procedure that uses a thin camera to inspect someone’s bladder – last year.
Unfortunately, the man’s paperwork was somehow mixed up with another patients’ – someone who was supposed to have a circumcision.
The mix-up was revealed as one of eight ‘never events’ that occurred at the University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust last year.
‘Never events’ are largely preventable, but very serious mistakes that should not occur if the correct procedures are carried out in hospitals, such as the wrong surgery site or foreign objects being left inside someone after an operation.
The mistake was uncovered by LeicestershireLive, and the hospital confirmed it was an adult male who was mistakenly circumcised, though no further details were given. The hospital also didn’t elaborate about how the mix-up came about.
In the same report, other ‘never events’ that shouldn’t have happened, but did, were a swab being left inside a child after nasal surgery, one patient undergoing surgery meant for someone with a similar name, and a hip implant being fitted on the wrong side.
The report stated:
Failure to demonstrate learning from never events has been a concern for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland commissioners and partners for some time.
Moira Durbridge, director of safety and risk at Leicester’s Hospitals, said:
We remain deeply and genuinely sorry to those patients involved, and of course we have personally apologised to each one.
We are committed to learning and improving and have enshrined this work into our clinical priorities within our quality strategy for 2019/20.
Chris West, director of nursing and quality at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, added:
We appreciate the distress these incidents cause to patients and their families.
As commissioners, we monitor closely the number of patient safety incidents and serious harm reported during a patient’s stay at the University Hospitals of Leicester.
And are working with the trust to support them to improve quality and safety for patients.
In the US, it is estimated around 6,000 surgical instruments are left inside patients after operations, according to MailOnline. Around 70 per cent of these sponges, while other items include clamps and tweezers. Hundreds of surgical items are can be used in a single operations, to try and prevent these mistakes, some hospitals are trialling using barcoded equipment.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.