Medics gave a newborn a spinal procedure meant for another baby

NHS bungles revealed: Medics gave a newborn a traumatic spinal procedure meant for another baby with the same name, while one patient expecting a bladder check was circumcised

  • Mix-up came about because child had the same surname and similar first name 
  • From April last year until this January 423 similar errors were documented for
  • In three cases, a woman’s ovaries were removed when the plan was to preserve 
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A hospital blunder meant that a newborn baby was given an invasive spinal jab meant for another child, part of a series of NHS gaffes shown by new data. 

The mix-up came about because the child had the same surname and a similar first name to another child at the hospital. 

In nine months, from April last year until this January 423 similar errors were accounted for. In June alone there were 63 confirmed cases. 


The mix-up came about because the children had the same surname and a similar first name

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One man, who was supposed to have a simple bladder check, ended up being circumcised. 

As well as someone’s tonsils being removed – when they weren’t supposed to be – another person had laser surgery on the wrong eye, having come forward when someone else’s name was called. 

There were six cases of the wrong eye being injected. Another huge gaffe saw someone have the wrong toe amputated. 

In three cases, a woman’s ovaries were removed when the plan was to preserve them. Thirty four people had the wrong teeth or tooth removed. 

A series of guide wires were also retained post-op but, shockingly, in one case so was part of a drill bit, a knee replacement pin in another two cases as well as surgical swabs on ten occasions and a surgical needle twice. 


A person had laser surgery on the wrong eye, having come forward when someone else’s name was called

The prosthesis section of the report was also damning, with 22 people being given the wrong hip replacement and one woman given the wrong breast implant. 

The blunders are called ‘never events’, otherwise known as ‘wholly preventable’ events that should never happen if guidelines are followed. 

The so-called never events can stem from medical negligence, hospital negligence or GP negligence.

The 423 from the recent figures is a rise from 356 errors over 12 months in 2016-17 — the last full year for which figures are available.   

‘Tory squeezes and failures to recruit,’ is what Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth blamed the blunders on. 

But NHS safety chief Dr Aidan Fowler said: ‘It’s vital that when they happen, hospitals learn.

‘The NHS is one of the safest health systems in the world.’ 

 

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