Man Given Vasectomy by MISTAKE After Going into Hospital for Minor Op

The hospital has apologised 'unreservedly' to the patient, who went in expecting to have a minor urological procedure


A man who went into hospital for a minor operation was given a vasectomy by MISTAKE.

Doctors at Royal Liverpool Hospital have tried to reverse the blunder, but the victim now faces an anxious wait to see if he will be able to have children.

Health chiefs described the incident as a "never event" – a medical mistake that should never happen – and a case of "wrong site surgery".

The hospital today "apologised unreservedly" to the patient and said the surgeon has been suspended from carrying out operations during an internal investigation, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Wrong op: The mistake happened at Royal Liverpool Hospital
Wrong op: The mistake happened at Royal Liverpool Hospital

The man has not been identified and the NHS trust refused to disclose his age.

Dr Peter Williams, medical director, said: "We can confirm a patient who was scheduled to have a different minor urological procedure was wrongly given a vasectomy.

"We have apologised unreservedly to the patient and we are offering him our full support. We greatly regret the distress this has caused him.

"It is our duty, in the best interests of the patient to uphold their confidentiality, therefore we cannot provide any further detail without their agreement.

"This is a serious incident and we are investigating this fully to understand why it occurred and how we can ensure it does not happen again."

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tubes that carry sperm from a man's testicles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealed.

In most cases, it is more than 99% effective.

It is possible to have a vasectomy reversed, but according to NHS England, the success rate is only around 55%.

Even if a surgeon manages to join up the tubes again, pregnancy may still not be possible.

Ian Cohen, clinical negligence lawyer at Slater & Gordon, said the error could cost the trust a six-figure sum.

He said: "This is a truly shocking and worrying case. From what we know there has been a catastrophic breakdown in procedure, as simple checks designed to ensure the correct operation is carried out on the right patient seem to have failed.

"In a worst case scenario – sterility in a younger man with no children – the trust might be liable for a figure in excess of £100,000 in compensation."

Hospital bosses admitted the mistake during a Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust board meeting.

Chief executive Aidan Kehoe said it appeared the World Health Organisation (WHO) surgical safety checklist "had not been followed" when the operation happened in February.

Hospital chairman Judith Greensmith asked for assurances over the use of the checklist, which has also been raised by England's health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

The GP-led Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group board, which monitors patient safety incidents, said the case involved "wrong site surgery".

NHS England says never events are "serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented".

Dr Williams said: "We take any incident such as this extremely seriously and report them at the highest level in the trust and to our regulators.

"Since this incident the surgeon has not been carrying out any operations, pending the findings of the investigation.

"In addition we are carrying out routine checks on compliance with the WHO checklist and our surgical teams are compliant.

"We care for around 90,000 inpatient and day-case patients a year and carry out over 25,000 surgical procedures. Since 2011 we have had one other never event."

Source: Mirror



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