Courier online exclusive: Surgeons remove wrong organ in op

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust runs Calderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust runs Calderdale Royal Hospital

Blundering medics removed part of a pancreas instead of a kidney during a hospital operation, the Courier has learned.

It has emerged a patient was taken into theatre at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust earlier this year for a removal of a left kidney.

Despite the operation being initially deemed a success, the patient later haemorrhaged and was returned to theatre the next day - where surgeons discovered his left kidney was still there.

An investigation into the incident discovered part of his pancreas had instead been removed in the first operation.

The blunder was reported in the latest papers to the hospital board, where it was classed as a ‘Never Event’, which are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur.

The report says: “During the second procedure it transpired that the left kidney remained in situ despite the previous day’s procedure, which was removed during the second procedure.

“The patient made a good recovery.

“An incident investigation concluded that part of the tail of the pancreas was removed in the first operation, and this was therefore a Never Event.”

The trust reported the incident to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the hospital watchdog Monitor.

A spokesman for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust told the Courier: “We have learned lessons from this incident in March and a number of actions have been taken.”

The CQC this week confirmed it had been notified about the incident via the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS).

A spokeswoman for the CQC said: “CQC was notified about this incident via the NRLS - which is the correct reporting procedure for NHS Trusts.

“We had direct contact with the Trust who provided evidence that robust action had been taken internally and patient safety was not at risk.

“As with all the services CQC regulates, the Trust is subject to the ongoing monitoring of its compliance with the essential standards of care and we continue to monitor the services provided by the Trust in line with our regulatory responsibilities.”