Patient left with complications after surgery with 'faulty equipment'

NHS Fife has been ordered by a watchdog to apologise after a patient has been left with 'life-changing' consequences.

Patient left with complications after surgery with ‘faulty equipment’ iStock

A health board has been ordered to issue an apology after a patient was left with ‘life changing’ complications after a surgery was performed with faulty equipment.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) instructed NHS Fife to say sorry to the patient, who is referred to only as C to protect their anonymity.

C complained about the care and treatment that they received from the board at the time of their surgery and once they had been discharged.

When C was first diagnosed as having a tumour in their bowel, medical professionals determined they would need surgery to remove it.

Following their operation, C experienced a significant amount of pain and was ultimately found to have a “leak” from the site of their bowel surgery.

C told the SPSO that the issues resulting from the procedure had life-changing consequences.

C experienced “complications” that led to extended hospital treatment and the need to be fitted with a stoma bag.

Their surgery failed to heal properly, possibly due to a fault with an item of equipment used to staple their bowel.

The SPSO was advised by a medical equipment manufacturer that an item of equipment used during C’s surgery was faulty and should be withdrawn from use.

The watchdog found there was no clear link between the faulty device and the leak that C subsequently experienced. However, NHS Fife did not review C’s and other similar cases in light of the new information regarding the faulty medical device.

NHS Fife was ordered to apologise to C for the delay in diagnosing the leak and for not addressing C’s questions about the situation.

The SPSO also set out some recommendations in its report, and suggested: “The board should share this decision with the staff involved in C’s care with a view to identifying any aspects of their care and treatment that could have been improved.”

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