Surgical Gauze Swab

Freedom of information request details

FOI request date:

Service: Claims Management

The following information was requested:


This is a freedom of information request regarding swabs (surgical gauze swabs) that are used in obstetrics (birth packs, suture kits etc.) and open surgeries such as laparotomies and incidents where swabs have been accidentally left within a patient.

1. Within the last 3 years, have there been any incidents recorded where a gauze swab was retained in the body cavity of a patient?

2a. If yes, was compensation paid to the patient(s)?

2b. What was the total value of compensation paid to the patient(s)?

3. With regards to purchasing, how many procedure packs and swabs packs were purchased in the last complete financial year? Specifically, I would like to know how many of each of the following products were purchased*:

• Birth packs (standard delivery packs containing gauze swabs and other supplies)

• Suture packs (e.g. used to repair vaginal tears containing gauze swabs and other supplies)

• Laparotomy packs

• Swab packs (packs of 5 swabs used in surgery to pack open wounds, absorb blood etc.).

* Please indicate if the data supplied relates to individual packs or carton quantities.

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