Swabs left inside two patients

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TWO patients who had operations at the Western General Hospital in the Capital had to be cut open for a second time following surgical blunders.

After the patients had been sewn up, it was discovered that swabs had been left inside their bodies.

They then required further surgery to remove the swabs.

The matter was reported at a meeting of NHS Lothian’s healthcare governance and risk management committee last month.

Dr Simon Mackenzie said the two incidents had occurred recently and had been fully investigated.

Tracey Gillies, divisional medical director for NHS Lothian, said: “It is very rare that an item will be left in a patient following an operation as we have a strict policy and processes in place to reduce the risk of this happening.

“Items being used in surgical procedures must be counted at a number of points during the operation.

“On the rare occasions that an item has been left in a patient or is discovered missing, a full investigation is carried out and the policy is revised as required.”