What Prompted the Investigation?
The HSIB began the investigation following an incident involving a woman who had a fairly routine operation to remove a kidney stone.
During the procedure, clinicians noted some “black” material coming from a small tube within a surgical tool that was being used.
They stopped the operation, recovered the “black” material and sent it to be examined. It was later found to be dried blood.
Thankfully, the patient tested negative for blood-borne viruses and hasn’t developed any symptoms since her operation.
We hope this is an isolated case, but it will be important to establish how this occurred, whether this involves a specific on or off-site decontamination facility, and if it involves multiple patients or hospitals.
I will await the HSIB investigation but in the meantime, hospitals must be alert to checking there are systems in place to ensure equipment is sterilised, checking the training requirements for staff who undertake decontamination of surgical instruments and assess the level of communication that exists between the decontamination facility and theatre staff.
If you have any concerns about the treatment you received during an operation and whether the correct processes were carried out, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors.
Our friendly team of experts offer a free claims assessment, and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you, with no obligation to you.