Inquest hears of screw left inside patient following surgery

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A screw was left inside a patient at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital following surgery, an inquest heard.

The matter formed part of proceedings at South Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court, in Boston, on Friday, relating to the death of Keith Kirby, of Addison Close, Navenby.

Mr Kirby died at Pilgrim Hospital on October 12, 2015, aged 75.

The inquest was told how the adjustable screw from an instrument known as a retractor had been left inside Mr Kirby following surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism.

It was found to be missing and removed during a procedure already planned as a follow-up to the first.

Despite his treatment, Mr Kirby’s condition deteriorated, and he died.

The cause of death, as given by the pathologist, was retroperitoneal abdominal aortic aneurism. A number of health issues were also recorded as relevant, though not causes.

Marianne Johnson, assistant coroner for South Lincolnshire, noted evidence that neither the loss of the screw or the retrieval of it contributed to the death and concluded Mr Kirby died of natural causes.

Speaking after the inquest, Dr Suneil Kapadia, medical director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pilgrim Hospital, said: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family of Keith Kirby.

“It has been recognised by the coroner that the incident with the adjustable screw did not contribute to the patient’s death.

“However, we believe lessons can be learned and, following this incident, we have made a request to the company that processes our surgical instruments that the piece of equipment involved is added to our surgical safety checklist.

“The trust takes events like this extremely seriously, and they are thoroughly investigated to establish the circumstances, learn from the incidents and change practice to avoid it happening again.

“The outcomes of these are shared internally and with our external regulators.”