‘Milton Keynes hospital operated on the WRONG side of my body’

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A woman has been left reeling after an MK Hospital surgeon operated on the WRONG side of her body and potentially damaged a perfectly healthy kidney.

The blunder left 29-year-old Lauren Hodgson laid up in hospital for two-and-a-half weeks instead of the planned 48 hours for a minor op.

And she fears she could now face a lifetime of kidney problems.

Yet, she says, she has not even received a direct apology from the hospital, let alone compensation.

The medical mix-up started when support worker Lauren was admitted in March for simple surgery to remove a kidney stone and fit a stent.

According to hospital notes a locum doctor, known as Dr 2, carried out the surgery, and halfway through a radiographer spotted he had placed a scope in the right 
ureter instead of the left.

The radiographer asked: “Are we now looking at both sides?” But Dr 2 failed to hear and continued.

It was only as Lauren was about to be signed out of theatre that the error was spotted. Her consultant was called and he carried out the surgery on the correct kidney personally.

“I was horrified when I found out - and in agony from both my kidneys,” said Lauren, who lives at CMK with her seven-year-old daughter Daisy.

“The hospital promised to investigate and I was told to keep quiet about it until their enquiries were over.”

This week Lauren heard the results of the scrutiny - but was far from happy.

“It was a whitewash. And they didn’t even say sorry,” she said.

This week the Citizen got Lauren an apology from the hospital’s medical director, whose name is Dr Ian Reckless.

He said: “Ms Hodgson underwent a procedure to insert a small tube called a stent in her ureter -which is the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder - as a treatment for kidney stones. As the surgery was completed, and while Ms Hodgson was still under anaesthetic, the operating team realised that the stent had been inserted into the wrong ureter. The stent was removed and another stent inserted into the correct ureter.

He added: “This is classified in the NHS as a wrong site surgery and as such was reported by the hospital as a ‘Never Event’. Although the error was corrected at the time of surgery, this has clearly been a very distressing ordeal for Ms Hodgson, who spent more time in surgery and had a longer than expected hospital stay.

“I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Ms Hodgson for this.”

Dr Reckless concluded: “We have already met with Ms Hodgson and shared our initial investigation report into this incident with her. We have committed to investigating further issues raised around her care and treatment and will share these with Ms Hodgson.

“This was a very serious incident, and whilst such incidents are thankfully very rare because of the operating safeguards we have in place, we are committed to learning from this to ensure anything similar is prevented from happening in the future.”