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A patient died after nurse left swab in his chest during heart surgery

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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A patient who underwent a nine-hour heart operation at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester died after a surgical swab was left inside his body.
Evidence at the inquest revealed that the scrub nurse had noticed a swab was missing but this had not been communicated to the surgeon before the patient was closed.
Mr Johnson initially appeared to be recovering from the surgery, however, his condition deteriorated and he went on to develop an infection.
The missing swab was identified during an x-ray and the patient underwent a second operation to remove the swab but sadly he passed away nine days later. His cause of death was recorded as multiple organ failure.
The Coroner recorded a narrative verdict and concluded: “Mr Johnson died as a result of multiple organ failure which had in part been caused by a surgical swab being left inside his chest during cardiac surgery on January 13, 2009.
“Procedures were in place at the time to prevent this happening but they were not followed.”
Sadly, this is a tragic incident where a life could potentially have been saved had the nurse alerted the surgeon to the facts that a swab was missing prior to Mr Johnson being closed.
At Stephensons, we have a wealth of experience in representing bereaved families when a patient has passed away in a healthcare setting.
By clinical negligence solicitors, Helen Shaw