‘I could have died of septicaemia if I hadn’t found it’, says young mother (From This Is Lancashire)
‘I could have died of septicaemia if I hadn’t found it’, says young mother
A YOUNG mother has spoken of her horror after discovering medical staff had left a large piece of blood-soaked gauze inside her for four days.
Kirsty Gallagher believes that she could have got septicaemia and died if she had not found the gauze, which was left inside her after she gave birth at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
The 19-year-old is still waiting for an apology from the hospital and says she will never go back there for treatment.
The Royal Bolton Hospital’s maternity unit is a “supercentre”, serving the whole of the North West, and has had £20 million invested in it over the past two years.
Miss Gallagher’s revelation comes as an investigation is launched at the hospital to find out how swabs were left inside three other women after they had given birth.
The three incidents are called “never events” because they should never happen under proper safety procedures.
Last month, The Bolton News revealed that swabs had been left inside two women after they gave birth naturally at the hospital’s maternity department between July and September last year.
It has since emerged that there was a third “never event” in the maternity department, in January, which is still being investigated.
In the first two cases the women suffered health complications because the swabs, which are commonly used when women have torn their skin while giving birth, became infected and had to be removed.
Miss Gallagher has become the fourth person to complain about materials being left inside her at the unit, but hospital bosses deny that she suffered a “never event”.
Ms Gallagher, from Morris Green, gave birth to her daughter Ava in the early hours of April 8 last year.
She said some gauze was put inside her for a number of hours because she was bleeding, and she said she was told that it was removed before she was discharged.
But on the evening of April 12, Ms Gallagher, who had been in pain since giving birth and had noticed an unpleasant smell, discovered one piece of gauze was still inside her.
The mum-of-one said: “I showed my mum and she thought it was a blood clot and I was worried.
“I didn’t want to pull it out but when I did it was full of blood. It was massive — it filled my mum’s hand.”
Ms Gallagher’s mother, Ann Gallagher, aged 58, rushed her to the Royal Bolton Hospital, where she was given antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
She said: “It could have killed me. If it had got infected it could have caused septicaemia.
“They wanted to keep me in overnight but I was that scared I just wanted to come home. I never want to go back there.”
Ms Gallagher said she was in pain for several weeks after the incident and said her stitches became infected after staff examined her on April 12.
She asked a neighbour to write a complaint and says she has had two phone calls but no apology.
Heather Edwards, head of communications at the Trust, said: “This was not a ‘never’ event and was not a retained swab, but involved some other material which was used entirely appropriately.
“However we did not explain to her fully at the time, which we should have done, and we apologised twice by phone for not doing so.
“The letters came to us from a third party and it would not have been appropriate to discuss a patient’s treatment in such a way.”