Saturday, January 03, 2009

NHS cutting edge stupidity costing UK

Surgeons who leave operating equipment inside patients cost NHS £9m

Patients who leave operating theatres with surgical equipment accidentally left inside them are being awarded millions of pounds in compensation.

About two people a week find surgeons have left behind foreign objects such as surgical swabs, clips and screws, according to Government figures released after a Freedom of Information request.

And with the average victim pocketing £17,900, the mistakes have cost the NHS a total of £9million over the past five years, with payouts made to more than 550 patients.

Experts suggest the level of claims is just the tip of the iceberg, as many people do not discover a mistake unless it causes a problem, often years later.


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