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Healthcare worker left unable to have children after wrong fallopian tube removed in surgery blunder

Chelsie Thomas has been left unable to have children. Credit: PA/Irwin Mitchell

A healthcare worker has been left unable to have children naturally after a hospital removed the wrong fallopian tube during surgery.

Chelsie Thomas had her left fallopian tube removed despite "clear and unambiguous" test results showing an ectopic pregnancy in her right tube, lawyers acting for the 26-year-old said.

The clinical support worker, who is employed by the trust which runs Walsall Manor Hospital, is now calling for lessons to be learned to prevent a similar error happening in future.

She underwent surgery in March last year but was recalled to hospital when maternity staff raised concerns after reading medical notes.

A further scan showed that the mother of one still had an ectopic pregnancy in her right fallopian tube and she had to undergo another operation, performed by a different surgeon, to remove the correct tube.

Walsall Manor Hospital is part of the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. Credit: PA

Following her ordeal, Ms Thomas instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

She said: "None of this seems real. I am heartbroken and just feel numb at what has happened and devastated at how I can no longer have children naturally.

"After I came round from my first operation I felt really ill. I was in so much pain, which continued throughout the day.

"The next day the doctor who carried out the surgery came to see me and at this point told me that the operation went really well and I was told I could go home that morning.

"Shortly after I got home, I received a call asking me to go back to hospital for a scan. As I was being scanned, I said that I thought that the ectopic pregnancy had been removed and then I saw my baby's heartbeat on the screen.

"I started to cry instantly. I couldn't speak as I was lost for words.

"The hospital has classed this as a 'never event' and it is difficult to understand how this has happened."

The blunder was classed as a 'never event'. Credit: PA

Irwin Mitchell said the trust has published an internal serious incident investigation report which came to the "inescapable conclusion" that the original procedure "was carried out without appropriate due diligence and attention".

The report also showed that the doctor who carried out the second procedure identified that Ms Thomas had "an obvious" ectopic pregnancy and carried out the procedure without apparent difficulty or delay.

If Ms Thomas's right tube had been "inspected throughout its entire length, the ectopic pregnancy should have been discovered and removed", the report stated.

The Trust, which has admitted liability, has offered to fund one round of IVF treatment.

Dr Matthew Lewis, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust medical director, said the findings of the "robust" investigation had been shared following the incident.

He said in a statement: "We would once again offer our sincere apologies to the patient involved for the fact that our care fell below the standard that we would expect for anyone who uses our services.

"In this particular case, while the necessary checks were carried out before surgery and consent was given, an error was regrettably made."