Figures show rising number of surgery errors in Irish hospitals

Patients have had operations on the wrong eye, ovary, kidney and finger

Figures show rising number of surgery errors in Irish hospitals

Surgeons carry out an operation to remove a tumour from a patient at an NHS hospital in Britain | Image: Andrew Parsons / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Over 200 patients reportedly had the wrong body part operated on in Irish hospitals in the last five years.

According to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) by The Irish Daily Star, some 231 people had surgery on the wrong body part, place or side between 2012 and 2016.

According to the newspaper, the surgical mistakes included operations on the wrong eye, ovary, kidney, finger and the wrong areas of the abdomen and neck.

One high profile case in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin saw a boy have the wrong kidney removed in 2008.

Nearly 70% of the incidents happened at hospitals in the South/South West Hospital Group - which includes Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Waterford and South Tipperary General Hospital.

2012 saw the highest number of surgery mistakes at a total of 70.

That figure dropped to 24 in 2013 and has been on the rise ever since - up to 39 in 2014, 48 in 2015 and 50 in 2016. 

A further 341 patients underwent the wrong surgical process or procedure over the same period - with nearly half occurring in the South/South West Hospital Group.

The HSE has been contacted for comment.