There were 135 incidents of wrong-site surgery last year, compared with just 54 in 2012.

Examples include a woman having her fallopian tube removed instead of an inflamed appendix, and a man whose kidney was accidentally taken out during a procedure to remove a pelvic tumour. A ‘distorted anatomy’ was blamed in both cases.

In another incident the consent forms of two patients got mixed up, resulting in the wrong person undergoing exploratory surgery.

Operating on the wrong patient or the wrong body part is considered to be a ‘never event’.

Never events are serious patient safety incidents that should not occur if the correct preventative measures are implemented.  

The Royal College of Surgeons said: “While these incidents are very rare, never should mean never.”

“Learning from mistakes and using best practice and guidance to avoid such errors should be the priority of every medical and surgical team across the country.”

Compensation for medical negligence

NHS England revises the list of never events each year. There are currently 14 on the list, including wrong implants, overdose of insulin and retained foreign objects.

If you or your loved one has been harmed by a never event, there could be a medical compensation claim. Contact us for more information.

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