Starting surgery without necessary equipment

Arthur had suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis in his hands for several years. He was admitted to hospital for a procedure in which some of the diseased joints in his right hand were to be replaced with artificial implants. Arthur was prepared for surgery. He was given a General Anaesthetic and the Surgeon set about making the necessary incisions and preparing the bones in the hand to accept the implants.

It was at this point that the Surgeon realised that not all of the necessary components for the surgery had been ordered. No available implants were to be had for a further two days. As a result, the operation had to be abandoned and Arthur had to wait over two weeks for another operation date.

The hospital agreed that this was unacceptable treatment and paid Arthur compensation of £4,250. In addition, they arranged a more robust system to ensure that the correct implants were ordered in good time and that detailed lists of requirements for each operation were available and checked one week before the operation.