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Swab left inside Caesarean mother

17 February 08 11:40 GMT

A woman has undergone an operation to remove a swab left inside her during a Caesarean delivery.

Sahar Asma Sarfaraz of Beckenham, south London, gave birth to her first child Sabrina at Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old complained of a severe pain soon after and three days later an X-ray revealed the hankerchief-like swab, which was removed on Friday.

Bromley NHS Trust said an investigation had been launched into the incident.

Mrs Sarfaraz's husband Shaz Sarfaraz, 27, said his wife had been complaining of a constant pain since the birth.

Warned over cleanliness

Mr Sarfaraz said: "She felt like something was really burning and it was not pleasant. But they [doctors] just kept saying that this is natural after a Caesarean.

"[The swab was] like a triangle version of a handkerchief with strings on the side, so its not a small thing to miss out," he said.

Mr Sarfaraz added that his wife continued to take painkillers to deal with the pain until she went in for an X-ray.

A statement from the trust that runs the hospital said: "Bromley NHS Trust can confirm that a sterile swab was left inside a patient during her emergency Caesarean section.

"A full investigation into the causes of what happened has been launched."

Earlier this month the trust was warned by the Healthcare Commission that it was "failing in its duty to provide and maintain a clean and appropriate environment for healthcare" after inspectors found filthy commodes and bloodstains on a bed rail and wall.

Two inspections in January also found poor decontamination procedures for surgical equipment.

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