Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'

After months of excruciating pain, Mark Wattson was relieved to finally have his appendix taken out.

NHS doctors told him the operation to remove the ruptured organ was a 'success' and he was discharged from Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts. But just weeks later the 35-year-old collapsed in agony and had to be re-admitted by ambulance.

To his horror surgeons from the same team told him that his appendix was still inside him and had burst. In an emergency operation it was finally removed, leaving Mr Wattson fearing another organ may have been taken out during the first procedure.

The blunder has left Mr Wattson jobless as bosses at JJB Sports, where he worked as a shop assistant, didn't believe his story and sacked him. Last night, as an internal investigation began, Mr Wattson told of the moment he realised what had happened.

'I was lying on a stretcher in terrible pain and a doctor came up to me and said that my appendix had burst,' he said.'I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I told these people I had my appendix out just four weeks earlier but there it was on the scanner screen for all to see.

'I thought: "What the hell did they slice me open for in the first place"? 'I feel that if the surgery had been done correctly in the first place I wouldn't be in the mess I am today. I'm disgusted by the whole experience.'

Mr Wattson first went under the knife on July 7 after his appendix ruptured and left him with severe abdominal pain for several weeks. He was discharged the next day but exactly a month later he had to dial 999 after collapsing in agony while job-hunting in Swindon.

Following the second operation his appendectomy incision became infected leaving a hole in his stomach 4cm deep and 2cm wide.Mr Wattson was then admitted to hospital for a third time and spent another six days hospital and was prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.

He said: 'I had a temporary job at JJB Sports but when I took in two medical certificates saying I had my appendix out twice they didn't believe me. 'Now I'm helpless. I can't go out and find a job, I can't go to interviews. I can barely walk and am in constant pain. 'Before the first operation they told me I had to have my appendix removed and when I woke up afterwards they said it had been a complete success.

'But then I keeled over in agony one month later and they did some tests at the hospital and we could see the appendix was still there on the scans. 'As far as I was aware they took my appendix out and no one told me any different. 'I have no idea what they have taken out but I want to find out what went wrong."

Earlier this month it emerged surgeons at a hospital in London operated on the wrong patient when two people on the same ward had the same name. The unnamed individual had a lung operation that should have been carried out on the other person. Another mistake involved removing the gall bladder from the wrong person.

Compensation payments to NHS patients have risen by 20 per cent in the last year to a record high of £769million, meaning that more than £2million on average had been paid every day to people lodging claims against the health service. A spokesman for Great Western Hospital confirmed representative had met with Mr Wattson and an investigation was ongoing. He was unable to confirm what, if anything, was removed in the first operation.

Paul Gearing, deputy general manager for head and neck, general surgery and urology for Great Western Hospital NHS Trust, said: 'We are unable to comment on individual cases. However, we would like to apologise if Mr Wattson felt dissatisfied with the care he received at Great Western Hospital.'


Witterings From Witney said...

Not again! I know I have said it before, but how the bloody hell can the likes of Brown and Burnham keep saying the NHS is the envy of the world?

Probably because they haven't a clue what they are talking about on any given subject?

And both Brown and Cameron want to throw more of our money at it? How about we keep our money and throw Brown and Cameron at it?

Prisoner of Hope said...

What does this Deputy Windbag mean by "IF Mr Wattson FELT disatisfied with the care" Then we would LIKE to apologise .... as if and through gritted teeth!.

When will these ace communicators realise that such qualified apologies show them up as uncaring, inhuman apologists for managers.

If they are so hide-bind by legal necessity then they should at least appreciate "Res Ipsa Loquiter".The facts (bloody well!) speak for themselves - without any equivocation or qualification

This guy has had an unecessary operation (or he has 2 appendices!). Not only is this clearly a case of gross negligence but the unnecessary cutting into his flesh amounts to assault and battery. That is a criminal offence.

What is more this particular Deputy Windbag is responsible for running an unsafe system - he and his like should be ashamed and need to be brought to court and sentenced for their shoddy attempts to cover up the dangerous state of affairs in their departments.

Blame Cameron and Brown and their ilk if you must but as long as supposed "managers" at local level think they can get away with qualified apologies for criminal neglect we will continue to see a steep decline not just in the quality of care provided to patients but also in the moral probity of so called public servants who let it happen and try to get away with .... well in some cases even murder!

Sue said...

It's pretty scary! I'm no Doctor, but surely an appendectomy has to one of the more simpler operations?

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