‘Surgeon must say sorry for nightmare op’

First published in News

A KIDDERMINSTER nurse who had a pair of seven-inch forceps left inside her after surgery has said she wants someone to take responsibility for the mistake.

Donna Bowett, 42, of Broom Crescent, was given a six-figure payout by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in an out-of-court settlement to cover her loss of earnings and the cost of treatment.

The mother-of-four said she still wants an apology from the NHS staff responsible for the operation, rather than the trust’s director.

The error happened during keyhole surgery to remove her gall bladder at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in February, 2009.

Ms Bowett was left in excruciating pain and lost weight for three months as doctors struggled to find out what was causing the pain she continued to suffer.

The hospitals trust has said it is “deeply sorry” for the preventable mistake.

Ms Bowett said: “The payout has helped me financially. I nearly lost my house as I couldn’t afford the mortgage.

“I’m still struggling with the fact the surgeon has not taken responsibility. The NHS director didn’t do the operation. That’s what makes me angry.”

She said she had been told the consultant did not have a clear memory of the surgery as a lot of operations were performed that day.

He would also not have closed her up as there were other medical professionals present including nurses and a registrar.

She was also told one of the nurses in the theatre has since left the UK to go back to their own country.

Ms Bowett was told that the seven-inch forceps should not have been used in keyhole surgery but has not been given an explanation as to why they were.

She added: “The policy is that all instruments should be counted in and out of theatre. They must have realised they were missing one and nobody did anything about it. I was discharged the next day but I didn’t feel right.”

Ms Bowett was booked in for an MRI scan three months following the operation but due to the magnetic force from the machine pulling on the metal forceps inside her she could not go through the procedure.

She had emergency surgery later that day after an Xray brought the problem to light.

“The thought of future surgery makes me physically sick,” Ms Bowett added.

A spokeswoman from the NHS Trust said: “The trust is deeply sorry for the distress and harm caused to Donna Bowett in 2009 and would like to apologise unreservedly to her.

“This was a ‘never event’ and we now have processes in place to vigorously review our procedures as we take this extremely seriously.”

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