Latest News & Views

Posted on 17th November 2017

Foreign Body Left Inside Patient

In March 16, a 79 year old man went to hospital to have one of his tear ducts widened. 13 months later he notices a piece of plastic tube was protruding from his lower eyelid.

For 13 months the man had experienced pain and discomfort but though no more of it until the tube was identified.

The man attempted to push the piece of tube back into his eyelid to stop it from scratching his pupil but couldn’t so he tried to remove it. He couldn’t remove the piece of plastic because it has a knot in one end so he trimmed a piece off then patched his eye until he could go to hospital the next day.

Whilst at the hospital, he was reviewed by two ENT consultants and needed further surgery to remove the tube but he was told the tube could not be found. He decided to have a consultation which he paid for privately. The consultant operated,  found and removed the tube.

He was told that the tube should have been removed between 6 and 8 weeks post surgery.

The 79 year old man commented “I was rubbing my eye for a few days and it got worse, as if there was something sticking into my eye, so I went to the bathroom to have a look. Seeing the tube coming out of my eye frightened the life out of me.

“I tried to ease the tube out but it wouldn’t move and there was something stopping it. I didn’t know what to do so I called my wife to the bathroom and she couldn’t believe it either.

I was flabbergasted when I found out the tube should have been removed so soon after the initial operation”

The hospital trust commented an “administrative error” meant that an appointment for the tube to be removed had not been sent. It also admitted that the failure to remove the tube fell below an acceptable standard of care however it did not accept the complications of not being able to locate the tube and blamed the man trimming it down.


Foreign bodies left inside patients are classed as never events because simply such a problem should never happen.

If you or a loved one have had a surgical procedure and a piece of equipment was left inside there may be grounds to make a compensation claim for clinical negligence.

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment