Home > Health > Royal Liverpool Hospital faces six-figure payout after surgeon accidentally gives patient a vasectomy.

Royal Liverpool Hospital faces six-figure payout after surgeon accidentally gives patient a vasectomy.

By Paul Gallagher   6th May 2014.     Find Full Article Here:-

A surgeon has been suspended after a man undergoing a minor operation at Royal Liverpool Hospital was mistakenly given a vasectomy.

Doctors have tried to reverse the procedure but it is not yet certain whether it has been successful as the hospital “apologised unreservedly” for the blunder that could leave it facing a six-figure payout if the man has been left infertile.

Health bosses described the incident uncovered by the Liverpool Echo as a “never event” – a medical mistake that should never happen – and a case of “wrong site surgery”. The surgeon will not be allowed to carry out any operations while an internal investigation is under way. The patient, who was expecting a minor urological operation, has not been identified and the NHS Trust refused to disclose his age.

Medical Director Dr Peter Williams said: “We can confirm a patient who was scheduled to have a different minor urological procedure was wrongly given a vasectomy. We have apologised unreservedly to the patient and we are offering him our full support. We greatly regret the distress this has caused him.

“It is our duty, in the best interests of the patient to uphold their confidentiality, therefore we cannot provide any further detail without their agreement. This is a serious incident and we are investigating this fully to understand why it occurred and how we can ensure it does not happen again.”

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealed. In most cases, it is more than 99 per cent effective.

However, the same cannot be said of reverse vasectomies which have a success rate of just 55 per cent according to NHS England. Nor is it guaranteed that a couple could go on to have a child if a man has undergone a reversal.

Ian Cohen, clinical negligence lawyer at Slater & Gordon, said the error could cost the trust a huge sum in compensation.

 

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