‘Surgeons left needle in my ankle’

Jeanette Brazil who suffers from cerebral palsy, had her condition worsened after a hypodermic needle was left in her ankle after an operation.

Jeanette Brazil who suffers from cerebral palsy, had her condition worsened after a hypodermic needle was left in her ankle after an operation.

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A disabled woman has hit out at her treatment by a hospital – after surgeons left a hypodermic needle in her ankle.

Cerebral palsy sufferer 
Jeanette Brazil, 50, of Bancroft Avenue, Thornton, has demanded an apology from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after the botched operation at Royal Preston Hospital in September last year.

Miss Brazil had an operation to lengthen tendons in her ankle, but after a prolonged period of pain after the operation, found a needle head had been left in her ankle after surgery.

The incident is classed as an ‘NHS never event’ – serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents which should never happen if preventative measures have been implemented.

Miss Brazil said: “I had my rehab after surgery and got told it was a success and I needed no further treatment.

“When I got home I started to suffer more – it started to swell and really be painful. It felt when I put my foot to the floor like something was sticking out.

“ It was on the inside of the ankle - I could feel something pushing and pulling.”

After visiting her doctor she was sent for an x-ray, which revealed a “foreign object” in her ankle.

She went to hospital where she said the surgeon had suggested it was a needle she had stood on, but after closer inspection, decided to operate.

She added: “I had further surgery in December to remove it and he did come to me and admit the end of a hypodermic needle was found.

“He did not say sorry or admit it was a mistake. I asked if he had kept it to look at and he said he had disposed of it.

“I stayed overnight and was allowed home the next day.

“Before I went a member of the governors team came to see me to say there was a full investigation.

“I knew something had gone badly wrong.”

In a letter sent to the 50-year-old in January by a doctor from her rehabilitation team, it admitted an investigation into the incident had “concluded that our Trust is at fault here”.

After the second operation, Miss Brazil contacted JMW, a legal firm, to help pursue a claim against her treatment.

That legal action is still 
ongoing.

She added: “I want them to turn around and admit something had happened.

“I do not want another person to go through the pain I have had to.

“I want someone to turn around and give me an apology.”

Judith Farrow, Miss Brazil’s medical negligence solicitor at JMW, said: “Jeanette is already coping with a severe disability so this incident has been extremely distressing for her.

“Leaving foreign objects inside patients during surgery is completely unacceptable and can have very serious consequences.”