Wrong part of patients lung removed after notes blunder

First published in News

INCORRECTLY filled forms from medical staff at Broomfield Hospital led to the wrong part of a patient’s lung being removed.

Urgent investigations have been launched at both Broomfield and Basildon Hospital into how the serious mistake happened to the female patient.

The woman, who survived and has not been named, was referred from Broomfield to Basildon’s specialist heart unit and should have had the top part of one of her lungs removed.

However, surgeons at the cardiothoracic centre removed an area from the bottom part of the lung which should not have been touched.

The mistake classed as “wrong site surgery” is being investigated as a “never event” - one of 25 major incidents deemed inexcusable within a hospital, according to the Department of Health.

A Basildon Hospital source, who would not be named, said: “It appears that the medical notes that came with the patient from Broomfield had been filled out incorrectly and showed the wrong area of lung to be operated on. Afterwards Broomfield said that was the wrong area.

"It appears that the mistake was made at Broomfield, but the investigation will have to look at whether this should have been picked up at Basildon.”

A spokesman for Broomfield Hospital, run by Mid Essex Hospital’s Trust, said: “The trust is aware of this incident, and in line with it's internal safety and governance policies, a full investigation is being carried out, and will review it's internal clinical procedures following this investigation.

“Mid Essex Hospitals is one of the top performing trusts in the east of England and treats all issues of patient safety and care extremely seriously.”

Dr Steve Morgan, Basildon and Thurrock Hospital Trust’s medical director, said: “In December there was an incident of wrong site surgery. External reviews are taking place into that serious incident. No one has been suspended and the nature of the incident is rather complex.”

If you know the patient involved please email investigations reporter Jon Austin on jon.austin@nqe.com or call 01268 469304.

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