Tampon again left in Great Western Hospitals patient

A swab has again been left inside a woman who gave birth at a maternity ward run by Swindon's Great Western Hospital (GWH), the BBC has learned.

The medical tampon was left in the woman following the delivery of her baby and only removed two days later during a follow up appointment.

It is the second time this year a swab has been left in a GWH trust patient.

Dr Helen Price, from the GWH, said there would be an investigation to "understand how it has happened again".

Earlier this year, it was revealed that a medical swab had been left inside a maternity patient at the GWH-run Royal United Hospital in Bath, for 10 days.

Both incidents are being treated as so-called "never events" - something the government says should never happen if patient safety rules are followed.

'Exceedingly rare'

But Dr Price has insisted these never events are "exceedingly rare" and reflect a "very, very small number of our total deliveries".

"We are sorry we've had these never events of tampons being left in place," she said.

"Whenever we have found them they have been removed immediately and the women have not needed additional operations to fix the situation.

"But because this is not the first time, we are having a detailed investigation to understand how this has happened and to prevent this happening again."

The GWH had six never events in 2011 and 2012, including one swab that was left inside a breast cancer patient after surgery in August 2012.

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