Retained Surgical Items & Objects Left in the Body After Surgery
Despite being one of those NHS ‘never events’ we hear about, the reality is that retained surgical items (also known as gossypiboma), i.e. swabs left inside the body following surgery, are remarkably common.
Even the best outcome in this scenario will see post-operative infection and the need for further surgery to remove the swab. At worst, people can die from infection.
In over 25 years, specialist clinical negligence solicitor, David Gazzard, has acted for many people unlucky enough to find themselves in this situation.
“David Gazzard supported my family and I through a very difficult time. David is not only a first rate solicitor but if my own experience was anything to go by, he has huge empathy for his clients. I would strongly recommend him.” AJ, January 2017
In a recent claim, David acted for a lady who suffered a retained surgical swab following a caesarean section. Post-operatively she was in considerable pain, with a high temperature and was feeling nauseous.
An abdominal x-ray was reported as ‘normal’, but her symptoms persisted. She was by that stage feverish, vomiting and her stomach was distended.
The x-ray was reviewed by a different doctor who believed that it showed distended loops of bowel and pronounced faecal loading. A subsequent CT scan identified the retained swab in her right iliac fossa. Emergency surgery to remove the swab found a dilated small and large bowel and fluid within the abdomen.
David obtained admissions on liability and causation from the NHS Litigation Authority and the claim concluded following negotiations between the parties.
“It’s difficult to believe it’s all over David. Just knowing that we’re now financially secure is probably the best therapy I’ve had so far. I can’t even begin to imagine what mess I’d be in if I hadn’t found you. Thank you from the whole family.” JF, December 2017
Should you wish to discuss any of these issues, our Head of Medical Negligence, David Gazzard, will be delighted to speak with you informally and in complete confidence. You may call him on 01793 615011 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org