A woman who became ill after having medical swabs left inside her following child birth has won surgical error compensation.
Elizabeth Kane gave birth to her first child – Ethan – at St Helier Hospital in Surrey in late 2007, the Sutton Guardian newspaper reports. After the delivery, swabs were used inside of Ms Kane by staff at the hospital to help control her bleeding. However, unbeknown to all, one was left inside, and Ms Kane was discharged with her baby.
Forty eight hours after going home, she was rushed back to hospital after being taken ill, becoming nauseous and feinting. She was examined by staff and given antibiotics, but still the swab was not found. She only discovered it two weeks later while bathing and returned to doctors to get it removed.
The swab had a serious effect on Ms Kane, as well as causing the illness. She reports that it took her four months to recover from the physical effects, and she was unable to hold her baby properly for a period of that. She also claims to have suffered psychologically from the incident, suffering from depression, post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia.
Ms Kane sued the hospital for negligence, claiming that the number of swabs used should have been counted and all accounted for when removed. An out of court settlement was reached recently, and a spokesperson for the hospital apologised for not achieving their usual high standards in this case.