The National Health Service has been forced to pay about $4 million (£3 million) after it was discovered surgeons have removed the wrong testicle from more than 150 men.
Over the span of 7 years, some patients had the wrong testicle removed instead of the cancerous one. In one incident, one patient received the wrong treatment for torsion, a twisting of the tubes that cuts blood off, and caused his gonad to become gangrenous. The error left them no other option but to cut it off.
According to litigation authority NHS Resolution, the health service is now forced to pay $4.17m (£3.2 million) in compensation.
The NHS usually pays $26,000 after admitting error for leaving patients with only one testicle. But those patients who have had both can expect to get $91,000 as they are left being infertile.
In most incidents, the faults were caused by delays in correctly diagnosing a condition, leaving doctors with no other option but to remove testicles which could’ve been saved.
But there were some patients who had the wrong testicle removed because of a surgical mistake. After realizing their error, doctors then had to get rid of the correct one.
A 48-year-old man told the Star that he was bringing legal action against a hospital after doctors removed a wrong testicle during a 2013 operation. The mistake was realized 40 minutes after the surgery.
A spokesman for regulator NHS Improvement said such incidents are rare but they will work to ensure they won’t happen again.
“While cases like this are very rare, it is vital that hospitals learn from these mistakes and take the appropriate action to support the patient,” they told the Sun.
“The NHS is one of the safest healthcare systems in the world, and we will build on this further as part of our patient safety strategy.”
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