02/12/2013 11:38 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Surgeons Left Glove In Mum's Body After Surgery


A mum-of-six had a surgical glove left in her body after an operation to remove her womb.

Sharon Birks had been feeling unwell after her hysterectomy, but it was THREE DAYS before the glove was found - by the mum herself.

The 42-year-old said she had just had her catheter removed at the Royal Derby Hospital and had gone to the toilet when she found the glove, reports the Derby Telegraph.

The hospitals' trust chief executive Sue James said staff had apologised in person for the mistake and an investigation would be carried out.

Mrs Birks said the moment she found the glove was 'horrible': "When I went to the toilet, I just remember having this feeling something had dropped in my stomach.

"Then I felt something rubbery and, the next thing I know, I'm pulling out this great big surgeon's glove – and there's this blood gushing everywhere.

"I just felt sick and giddy and I went straight to the nurse – they gave me a full internal examination and people came down to talk to me about it.

"But I think people should know about this because I would hate to think what would have happened if I'd have gone home before this was discovered."

Mrs Birks had gone into hospital on November 19 to have the hysterectomy after a tear developed in her uterus. The surgery took five hours.

After the op, she was given a bladder scan to check for any problems after she complained of feeling unwell. Doctors though she might have an infection and gave her antibiotics.

"I just had this really bad stomach ache and it almost felt like something was wedged in my stomach," Mrs Birks said. "At first, I just thought it was perhaps something to do with my catheter.

"By Thursday, I wasn't ready to go home and now I'm so glad I didn't."

Mrs Birks said as soon as the glove came out, she has felt fully fit again, but told reporters it should 'never have happened'.

"I was actually told just how careful I needed to be following the operation," she said. "I just keep wondering what would have happened if the glove had stayed inside me and what damage it could have caused."

Mrs Birks, a learning disability support worker, lives with husband Darren, 39. The couple have been told the hospital's investigation into the incident could take up to three months.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told the Derby Telegraph: "We are extremely sorry for the distress that was caused to Mrs Birks. Clearly this should not have happened and we have launched a detailed investigation.

"A consultant and a senior nurse saw Mrs Birks and her husband whilst they were still at the hospital to apologise in person and to inform them a full investigation would take place.

"I have also written to Mrs Birks to offer her sincere apologies for the distress and anxiety that such an unpleasant experience must have caused.

"A full investigation is now underway and, when it has been completed, we will be sharing our findings with Mrs Birks."

She added: "We take patient safety extremely seriously and, at the conclusion of this investigation, we will want to ensure lessons are learnt."