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Patient’s organs removed unnecessarily

Author: Gail Harris

A Bristol woman took her case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, after a hospital failed to act when she complained about having organs removed without her consent.

Mrs D had been admitted for surgery to remove an ovary, but awoke to find that the surgeon had also removed her uterus, appendix and omentum, without either her consent or knowledge.

Following the surgery, doctors also failed to properly treat her post-operative wounds, which reopened shortly after returning to the ward.

Mrs D complained that besides not obtaining her consent, the surgery had also been below the standard that could reasonably be expected and her post-operative care had been inadequate.

The hospital delayed replying to her complaint, gave her inaccurate or incomplete information and did not put any recommendations into practice.

As a result of the negligence, Mrs D suffered pain and distress and needed corrective treatment and psychotherapy, which caused financial hardship.

She wanted the Trust to acknowledge their failings, pay compensation and ensure that changes were introduced that would prevent other patients suffering as she had.

The Ombudsman found that there had been no clinical need to remove the uterus, appendix or omentum and doctors had failed to carry out the appropriate assessments and treat accordingly.

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust apologised and paid £11,050 compensation. It also produced an action plan to ensure that lessons were learned from the case.

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