Surgical gauze left inside Hong Kong man, 60, for 10 months after operation

Incident at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital came to light after patient had surgery at another hospital

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 11:06am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 11:06am

Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital expressed “sincere sympathy” on Tuesday for a patient who had had a piece of surgical gauze left inside his abdomen after surgery. It was discovered 10 months later.

The remarks from the private hospital came as the Department of Health publicised the incident, which was reported by the Hospital Authority.

A surgeon left a piece of gauze inside the 60-year-old man during a laparotomy and colostomy in October last year, the hospital said on Tuesday.

It was not found until the man received another surgery in a public hospital in August this year.

“The hospital regrets that the incident had occurred and expresses sincere sympathy to the patient and his family members,” the hospital said, adding that the patient had recovered from the incident.

Finger on the pulse: hospital chief’s vision for improving Hong Kong’s public health service

The Department of Health said its investigation showed that staff in the operating room had not strictly adhered to the hospital’s surgical count procedures for gauze pieces, breaching the requirements in the Code of Practice for Private Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Maternity Homes.

An advisory letter was issued to the hospital.

The hospital has submitted a plan for improvements to prevent such incidents.

The department instructed the hospital to submit the case to its management and medical advisory committee for a performance review of the medical staff involved.

The hospital said the case would be tabled to its internal and external review committees for review and investigation.