Intended for healthcare professionals


College begins inquiry into removal of wrong kidney

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 05 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:332
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    The Royal College of Surgeons this week began an inquiry into how the wrong, healthy kidney was removed from a patient at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, Wales.

    The surgical team involved in the incident has been relieved of operating duties and consultant urologist Dr John Roberts is taking leave. Similar operations at the hospital have been suspended.

    Hospital managers say that before the incident, which left the patient, Graham Reeves, seriously ill with one diseased kidney, nurses at the hospital had told managers of their concerns about urological procedures and that a clinical audit had been initiated.

    “Earlier this month nursing colleagues expressed concern about some of the outcomes following urological procedures to the hospital management. Action was taken immediately, the consultant urologist interviewed, and as a result he agreed that an audit of his work would be appropriate. A sample of 400 cases was agreed covering approximately one year's work,” said Mike Ones, chief executive of the Carmarthenshire NHS Trust.

    He added, “There was an occasion in September 1999 when the medical director discussed an operation which had taken place earlier that year in July. This discussion was in relation to operations carried out on high risk patients.”

    The trust has launched its own inquiry into the kidney operation that went wrong.

    Embedded Image

    Dr John Roberts: at the centre of controversy over kidney operation


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