Legal Action After Patient Suffers Infection In Hallamshire Hospital Operating Theatre

Operating Theatres Now Closed But 22 Patients Affected By Deep Wound Infections


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A patient who suffered a severe infection following an operation in an operating theatre later closed because of patient safety concerns has instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate exactly how she contracted the injury.

In February this year a report to the board of directors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust revealed that an increase in deep wound infections at The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield was identified in November 2013 in Theatres 3 and 4 which were subsequently shut down.

The report said 22 people were confirmed to be suffering and there were two further possible deep tissue infections from patients who had been operated on in the two theatres. It was believed by experts that the design and use of a central ante-room might have contributed to the increased risk and plans were prepared to modify it before surgery is resumed in September 2014

Specialist medical lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office have been instructed to investigate and help an un-named, 60 year old, patient who suffered a post-operative infection following a hip replacement at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in April 2013.

Just three months after the operation the woman, from Worksop, had to have the hip replacement removed because of an infection but after her hip was removed, she suffered another serious infection requiring further surgery. Her new hip replacement was finally inserted in December 2013 at the Northern General Hospital.

Hayley Smith, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell representing her, said:

Expert Opinion
Our client has had an awful time over the past year and when she got the letter saying that her infection may have been linked to problems with the operating theatre she was naturally very concerned.

“We are investigating exactly what happened in her case and have written to the NHS Trust responsible to request further details and documents so that we can help provide our client with the answers that she needs and deserves.

“While we welcome the steps taken to ensure that no one else is put at risk by closing the two operating theatres until they are cleared for use, it is worrying that potentially 22 people may have suffered unnecessary deep wound infections which can have life-changing implications.

“It is vital that everything is done both to help the victims and prevent this from happening again. Patient safety is the number one priority and the operating theatres must be tested extensively before they can be re-opened to ensure that no one can suffer the same problems in future."
Hayley Smith, Solicitor

The NHS Trust says that most of the people affected have had follow-ups and are receiving ‘appropriate treatment’ and patients who were booked in for hip or knee surgery in the upcoming months are being sent to the Northern General, the private Thornbury Hospital or the Care UK centre in Barlborough, Chesterfield.

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