Liverpool hospital patient given vasectomy 'by mistake'

A Merseyside hospital has apologised after a man scheduled for a minor procedure was mistakenly given a vasectomy.

The Royal Liverpool University Hospital said the man, who has not been named, was due to have a "different minor urological procedure".

A spokesman said an investigation had started into how it happened.

The incident was called a "never event" by the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.

NHS England describes these as "serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by healthcare providers".

Medics tried to reverse the error but it is not known whether the reversal was successful.

'Apologised unreservedly'

Dr Peter Williams, medical director, said: "We can confirm that a patient who was scheduled to have different minor urological procedure was wrongly given a vasectomy.

"We greatly regret the distress that this has caused him. We have apologised unreservedly to the patient and we are offering him our full support."

He added: "We take any incident such as this extremely seriously and report them at the highest level in the trust and to our regulators."

The hospital said the surgeon had not carried out any operations since the incident, pending the findings of the investigation.

A vasectomy involves severing the tubes that carry sperm. Reversal operations are available, but they are not always successful.

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