Pouch left inside patient following operation at Whiston Hospital

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A patient at Whiston Hospital had to be rushed back to theatre to remove a piece of equipment left inside during an operation the previous day.


The incident happened in 2018 and was classed as a ‘Never Event’, which are serious incidents that are entirely preventable.

The Never Event has been brought to light in a quality and safety update report published by St Helens CCG.

According to the report, a surgical device failed during a procedure at Whiston Hospital to remove a patient’s kidney.

After it failed, the surgeon then detached the pouch attached to the retrieval device, leaving the pouch inside the patient’s abdomen.

“The procedure was completed and the patient returned to the ward from the recovery unit,” the CCG report said.

“The following morning it became apparent that no-one could account for the pouch.

“The patient was returned to theatre for removal of the retrieval pouch the following day.

The report says “immediate actions” were taken by the trust to ascertain more information regarding the failure of the device.

St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the incident did not cause any “serious harm” to the patient.

The trust added that it launched a “thorough investigation” into the matter.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Following the failure of a medical device during a surgical procedure, the trust launched a thorough investigation and immediately reported the fault to the manufacturers.

“The incident did not cause any serious harm to the patient.”