Oops! Hospital leaves surgical forceps inside a patient after operation

It's one thing when someone forgets to put the milk back in the fridge. It's another when a surgeon forgets to put their arterial clamp back on the tool tray after surgery — especially when the tool is left inside the patient. But that is what happened at a hospital in Worcestershire, England after a seven-hour abdominal operation.

Normally tools are counted twice and then signed out before a surgeon closes up a patient after surgery, according to BBC, but in the so called "never event" that occurred at Alexandra Hospital, a pair of six-inch forceps was somehow left inside a patient who was recovering in an intensive care unit.

Never say never.

From BBC:

The patient spent the night in intensive care at the site in Redditch when the six-inch (15 cm) object could not be retrieved the same day.

The hospital trust has apologised unreservedly and said it would share the findings of an investigation.

The instrument was an arterial clamp resembling a large pair of scissors.

Under normal circumstances, all instruments should be counted and checked twice before the patient is closed. There is also a process of "signing out" at the end of an operation to confirm they are all accounted for. …

A further operation was carried out the next day to remove the clamp and the patient returned to intensive care where they were described as stable.