A patient died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) ten days after a metallic screw was left
behind in his chest cavity during a heart bypass surgery. Unable to locate the screw, which had slipped from the sternum retractor that is used during the surgery, the doctors closed the chest cavity.
The patient, 74-year-old Gokul Prasad, was discharged after the first surgery on September 8 but re-admitted on September 10. He subsequently underwent another operation in which the screw was removed but died on September 20, according to his case sheet seen by
Surgeon in-charge, Dr AK Bisoi, told
that the error was not life-threatening. “We realised that the screw was missing in the OT itself, but could not find it. So, we had to choose between saving the patient or tracing the screw. We decided to close the sternum and correct the error once the patient was stable,” said Bisoi.
“Prasad was a high risk patient. He died due to reasons unrelated to the screw,” he added.