Man Accidentally Circumcised After Paperwork Mix-Up

Doctors performing surgery on a patient
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Most people put a lot of faith in their doctors. We expect them to be able to diagnose us on a dime, typically with half the information they really need, and to know exactly how to treat us to get us healthy as a horse again. When going into surgery, they generally reassure the patient that all will be well and that they’ll see you on the other side.

But even doctors make mistakes. After all, they are only human. Unfortunately, mistakes when you have someone’s life in your hands are a massive and often unforgivable problem. According to The Independent, one man — who has remained unnamed by the hospital in question — was horrified to wake up from what was supposed to be a routine cystoscopy to discover that the doctor had circumcised him instead.

The incident report was released in March 2019, but the mix-up occurred back in September 2018 at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. It was one of eight “never events” to plague the trust in 2018, according to the Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group report.

It is believed that the error occurred because the patient’s file was accidentally confused with the file of another patient in the hospital. Instead of a tiny camera examining his bladder, the patient went home without his foreskin.

Aside from a sincere apology for the awful mistake, the trust had no actual answers about how the incident had been allowed to occur.

Moira Durbridge, director of safety and risk at Leicester’s Hospitals, issued the public apology on behalf of the hospital and the staff.

“We remain deeply and genuinely sorry to those patients involved, and of course we have personally apologized to each one. We are committed to learning and improving and have enshrined this work into our clinical priorities within our quality strategy for 2019/20.”

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The only detail the trust was prepared to confirm about the patient is the fact that he is an adult, not a child, according to The Daily Mail.

Among the other “never event” mistakes that took place at the trust in 2018 included “leaving a swab inside a child following nasal surgery” and one patient “having surgery meant for a man with a similar name.”

Another incident saw a hip nail implanted into the incorrect side of a patient’s body.

The trust has shared its concerns that “never events” keep happening at their hospitals in Leicester. As the name suggests, “never events” are occurrences that are so horrendously bad that they should never be happening, and are down to preventable mistakes rather than errors in judgement when treating a patient.