Cases involving swabs and instruments do still occur notwithstanding attempts to avoid such incidents. As an example, we acted for a client who underwent major pelvic exenteration surgery for vaginal cancer during which a swab was left in situ.
This was identified when the final swab count was done at the end of the surgery, but the surgical team could not find the swab in our client and so stitched her wound anyway. Our client was not informed or monitored for the risks this posed. She was discharged, but continued with worsening abdominal pain, vomiting and cramps.
She attended A&E after a few weeks, where X-ray showed the location of the swab and she had to undergo further surgery for its removal and the pelvic adhesions caused.