Blackburn mum tells of horror after swab left inside her at Burnley hospital

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Burnley General Hospital Burnley General Hospital

A WOMAN has told how she was left screaming in pain after a swab was left inside her body after childbirth.

The Blackburn mother, who has asked not to be named, is in talks with a solicitor after the incident at Burnley General Hospital's Women and Newborn Centre for East Lancashire.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported last month how East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust had recorded an incident of this kind and classed it as a ‘never event’ – something so serious it should never happen in the NHS.

Hospital bosses said procedures had been changed so staff now use purple wristbands to remind them to remove surgical items from patients’ bodies.

The woman described how an incident, after the birth of her first child last July, put her off having more children.

The trust has invited the woman to meet them to discuss her complaint.

She claimed the swab was left inside her for around two weeks and said: “I had to stay in hospital for another six days (after the birth) without my baby. I wasn’t able to hold her , I was in too much pain.

“I wasn’t able to bond with her properly because I was in too much pain the whole two weeks I was at home.”

The 25-year-old said she returned to the hospital after her mother advised her the level of pain and swelling was abnormal.

She said: “All of a sudden, I got a sharp pain (at the hospital) again and my sister had to call for help because I was screaming.

“It shouldn’t happen to anyone else because it’s a horrible experience. It was difficult for my family as well. I went to a solicitor to stop it from happening again. Everyone should be aware what’s going on.”

The woman said she was told by a member of hospital staff that the swab had prevented her from properly passing urine, causing kidney failure.

When the swab was removed, the woman expelled more than seven litres of trapped urine in four hours, she claimed.

She said she now had trouble sleeping and had suffered recurrent infections.

She said: “I don’t want to go back. It’s put me off having more children. My partner wants more children but I’ve said no for a while. I’m scared it could happen again, even though they say they have new procedures.”Vanessa Hollings, divisional general manager for family care at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The care and safety of our patients is our overriding priority and we take any concerns regarding clinical care very seriously. If there are any issues our patient believes haven’t been clarified then I strongly advise her to contact us so we can discuss them.”

Comments (11)

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11:29am Fri 10 Jan 14

bburngal says...

Asian I bet.another compo person but do hope shes ok and da money will help her when she has another in two years time
Asian I bet.another compo person but do hope shes ok and da money will help her when she has another in two years time bburngal

11:50am Fri 10 Jan 14

woolywords says...

Didn't we used to have an operational procedure, where all instruments and swabs were counted then accounted for, afterwards?
Didn't we used to have an operational procedure, where all instruments and swabs were counted then accounted for, afterwards? woolywords

12:48pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Pendle power says...

Asian or Non Asian does it matter ?
Asian or Non Asian does it matter ? Pendle power

1:10pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Fire Fly says...

I recall the original article & if i'm right, this woman was accepting of the explanation given. SO what's changed?

At the end of the day this trust is in huge difficulties, is going for compensation going to change anything?? Swabs being left inside someones body is unacceptable however, its also very, very rare which says to me the processes in place do work.

As for this event being difficult for the family & putting her off having another child...come one, childbirth itself puts you at the time. Not this! You & your baby are both fine, yes this shouldn't have happened but move on & stop turning a minor event into something it wasn't.
I recall the original article & if i'm right, this woman was accepting of the explanation given. SO what's changed? At the end of the day this trust is in huge difficulties, is going for compensation going to change anything?? Swabs being left inside someones body is unacceptable however, its also very, very rare which says to me the processes in place do work. As for this event being difficult for the family & putting her off having another child...come one, childbirth itself puts you at the time. Not this! You & your baby are both fine, yes this shouldn't have happened but move on & stop turning a minor event into something it wasn't. Fire Fly

1:34pm Fri 10 Jan 14

mavrick says...

I have to laugh when they say we invite patients and their families to discuss the problem. what they mean is the problem is minor and rare so we have learned from your experience so that should be the end of the matter, kindly hold the carpet up so we can sweep it under with the rest.
I have to laugh when they say we invite patients and their families to discuss the problem. what they mean is the problem is minor and rare so we have learned from your experience so that should be the end of the matter, kindly hold the carpet up so we can sweep it under with the rest. mavrick

1:50pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ladysal says...

woolywords wrote:
Didn't we used to have an operational procedure, where all instruments and swabs were counted then accounted for, afterwards?
We certainly used to. At the Trust I worked for (not this one), the count had to be done by two staff members at regular intervals during the procedure and then checked and rechecked before the close up was complete / procedure signed off.
Purple wristbands? Reminds me a bit of Neville's remembrall in Harry Potter. Only good if you can remember what you have forgotten!!
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: Didn't we used to have an operational procedure, where all instruments and swabs were counted then accounted for, afterwards?[/p][/quote]We certainly used to. At the Trust I worked for (not this one), the count had to be done by two staff members at regular intervals during the procedure and then checked and rechecked before the close up was complete / procedure signed off. Purple wristbands? Reminds me a bit of Neville's remembrall in Harry Potter. Only good if you can remember what you have forgotten!! ladysal

2:38pm Fri 10 Jan 14

razwoods78 says...

"staff now use purple wristbands to remind them to remove surgical instruments from peoples bodies"!!!! WHAT?!! Why not get a text alert sent to their mobiles, or maybe even a phonecall from the person in surgery. IT'S A HOSPITAL NOT WAVES SWIMMING BATHS! would all swimmers wearing a purple band please leave the pool!

I have heard it all
"staff now use purple wristbands to remind them to remove surgical instruments from peoples bodies"!!!! WHAT?!! Why not get a text alert sent to their mobiles, or maybe even a phonecall from the person in surgery. IT'S A HOSPITAL NOT WAVES SWIMMING BATHS! would all swimmers wearing a purple band please leave the pool! I have heard it all razwoods78

4:49pm Fri 10 Jan 14

blackburnwithdarwen says...

So, if you’ve lost something you know where it may be!
So, if you’ve lost something you know where it may be! blackburnwithdarwen

5:36pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Legal Beagle says...

"I went to a solicitor to stop it from happening again"

Oh, silly me, I'd just assume it was because she and the solicitor both wanted a nice fat cheque out of massively depleted NHS resources.

If her motivation is just to stop it happening again we can therefore assume she won't be seeking compensation and we should all respect her for her public-spirited attitude. No doubt her solicitor, in a similar frame of mind and realising how strapped the NHS is, will also waive his normal fee.

If only every patient who suffers a medical accident were so noble of spirit what a better place the world would be.
"I went to a solicitor to stop it from happening again" Oh, silly me, I'd just assume it was because she and the solicitor both wanted a nice fat cheque out of massively depleted NHS resources. If her motivation is just to stop it happening again we can therefore assume she won't be seeking compensation and we should all respect her for her public-spirited attitude. No doubt her solicitor, in a similar frame of mind and realising how strapped the NHS is, will also waive his normal fee. If only every patient who suffers a medical accident were so noble of spirit what a better place the world would be. Legal Beagle

9:42pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Unhappycyclist says...

Shadow picture in the paper suggests maybe a variant of crash for cash?
Shadow picture in the paper suggests maybe a variant of crash for cash? Unhappycyclist

11:48pm Fri 10 Jan 14

billy32 says...

If this happened in the third world, ok but to happen in the UK it's disgusting. If they sacked a few people for not doing the job they are paid to do they might just wake up. I bet the problem would not occur in the private sector.
If this happened in the third world, ok but to happen in the UK it's disgusting. If they sacked a few people for not doing the job they are paid to do they might just wake up. I bet the problem would not occur in the private sector. billy32

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