Pensioner left in agony when surgeons left swabs inside her after operation

Margaret Draper from Chorley, who was left in agony after surgeons at Royal Preston Hospital left swabs inside her after an operation
Margaret Draper from Chorley, who was left in agony after surgeons at Royal Preston Hospital left swabs inside her after an operation
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AN 81-year-old woman was left with four large surgical swabs inside her for two weeks after a pacemaker operation in Preston, it has been claimed.

Now solicitors representing Margaret Draper from Chorley say the NHS Trust which runs the Royal Preston Hospital has admitted a mistake was made during the surgery.

Medical negligence lawyers alleged Margaret suffered two weeks of pain after the operation in August 2015, needed follow-up surgery and has had further health issues since, including an ongoing infection.

Margaret said: “The last 15 months have been a difficult time for me and my family as a result of the failures by staff at the Royal Preston Hospital.

“Since the initial surgery, I’ve suffered with an ongoing infection and had to undergo further surgery to have the pacemaker relocated. As well as the physical pain and scars that I’ve been left with, my experiences have had a huge impact on me mentally.”

Swabs left in a patient constitute one of 14 “never events” which the NHS admits should not be allowed to happen. Surgeons at first claimed the swabs were special blood-clotting ones designed to be left in the patient to stem bleeding.

But after pressure from the family the swabs were sent for evaluation and it was discovered they were the wrong type and thus constituted a “never event.”

“These kinds of incidents are on the NHS never events list because they just simply should not happen,” said Shahin Master, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester.

While the Trust has now, over a year since the operation, admitted to Margaret and her family the failings during the initial operation and subsequent care, Margaret is still understandably extremely upset due to the continued health issues these failings have caused.”

Mark Pugh, medical director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Firstly we would like to sincerely apologise to Margaret Draper and her family for the distress caused.

“We have carried out an investigation into the matter; lessons have been learned and robust measures are being put in place.

“We cannot comment on legal proceedings however we will continue to work with Mrs Draper and her family to resolve the issue.”