Worcestershire hospital investigation after six-inch metal forceps left in patient after surgery
A hospital in Worcestershire is investigating after six-inch metal forceps were left inside a patient after surgery.
It is understood to have happened during a seven hour abdominal procedure at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch on 23 November.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised 'unreservedly', adding that the incident is "exceptionally rare".
The metal forceps had to be located using x-ray while the patient was still under anaesthetic.
But they could not be removed immediately and the patient was moved to intensive care overnight before an operation the following day.
It has been termed a "never event", and the investigation will now seek to establish how the forceps were overlooked.
The trust says "well-established processes" like counting and checking all instruments before the patient is closed up, usually prevent such incidents happening.
There is usually a further audit at the end of surgery to make sure all instruments are counted.
Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins said: "We are aware of an incident which involved a surgical instrument being left inside a patient following surgery.
"There are clear and well-established processes in place to protect patients from this kind of event, which are exceptionally rare.
"We are currently carrying out an investigation into what happened.
"The patient and their family have been informed as part of our duty of candour.
"We have apologised unreservedly to the patient and promised to share the findings of our investigation with them once it is completed."