AN INQUEST into the death of a Plymouth man will hear whether a swab was left inside him and if it contributed to his death.
A hearing into the death of Dennis Thompson, aged 73, is due to be held in Plymouth today.
Mr Thompson, a retired Ford motor engineer, had an operation to remove a small tumour in November last year, according to his family's lawyers.
He failed to recover successfully from the procedure. It is claimed by his lawyers Michelmores that ten days later a swab was found to have been left inside his body.
Mr Thompson died in December 2008. The inquest will examine what caused his death.
Kevin Finneran, a specialist clinical negligence lawyer with Michelmores who is representing the family, said: "We must wait to hear the verdict of the inquest, of course, but Mr Thompson's family are naturally distraught at the circumstances of his death.
"I'm instructed to investigate a claim for damages. Mr Thompson's widow is concerned to ensure that her husband's death is not in vain and that no other family is placed in this tragic position."
The Herald reported in April that Derriford Hospital had launched an internal investigation after receiving three separate complaints about swabs being left inside patients following surgery.
A hospital complaints report stated that, during the prior six months, three incidents had been highlighted where gauze swabs were 'retained' in patients after procedures.
The papers stated: "Each of the families has raised complaints with the trust as a result.
"Due to the serious nature of these complaints the medical director for professional practice commissioned an internal investigation."
The report added that changes had been made to the process for checking swabs and practice in operating theatres.
Plymouth's coroner was to hold an inquest into Mr Thompson's death this morning
Categories: Inquests and Inquiries