Personal injury solicitors recently took up the case of a North Devon pensioner who suffered clinical negligence during a routine operation.
The unnamed 77-year-old man underwent surgery at the North Devon District Hospital. The procedure, which took place in December 2010, was a straightforward one to untwist his bowels. However, immediately afterwards the man complained that he felt uncomfortable.
He went back to the hospital on two occasions to discuss his discomfort with the surgeon who had carried out the procedure, but no tests were carried out to establish the reason for his suffering. It was only when he underwent a scan in September last year that it was discovered that a gauze swab used in the procedure had been left in his body by mistake.
The pensioner says he was left with crippling abdominal pains as well as mental health issues as a result of this clinical negligence. He therefore decided to contact a firm of medical negligence specialists and ask them to file a claim on his behalf against the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust for personal injury compensation.
He recently told a reporter that he knew something was wrong straight after he had the procedure, but we rely on surgeons to carry out operations correctly and trust that the information they give us afterwards is accurate.
However, if that scan had not been carried out, goodness knows how long the man would have had the unwanted item inside his body.