We acted for a client (aged 59) who underwent a bilateral knee arthroscopy during August 2006 at Great Western Hospital in Swindon. During the course of the surgery, the tip of a surgical blade broke off and migrated into the back of his left knee joint. The surgeon was unable to retrieve this tip and it was left in his knee until 2012, when another doctor said that it should be removed as it presented a potential danger. Following surgery to remove the fragment, he made a full recovery from this episode.

It was our case that the surgical blade should not have broken in the first place, without there being negligence on the part of the surgeon, and it should have been removed in 2006, 2012. We felt that breaking a surgical instrument and leaving a fragment behind within a patient amounted to a “never event”.

The Hospital disagreed and denied liability. They also argued that our client’s claim was time barred, in that he should have issued proceedings by no later than 20, 9 i.e. the three-year anniversary of the alleged negligence. Proceedings were issued and a Defence was filed by the Hospital Trust which maintained their earlier position. Nevertheless, their solicitors made an early offer to settle our client’s claim which he was happy with.

S. J. Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £10,000 for this client during 2014