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Amy Bond: Suction Devices - Further Concerns for Patient Safety

As I have recently been blogging about the fatal blunders list compiled by the NHS of inexusable hospital mistakes, this article attracted my attention also.

An NHS patient safety watchdog is asking hospitals to make sure suction devices are in good working order as over 100 critical problems were noted over five years. The equipment is used to suck material out of people's airways in emergency situations.Where the equipment has failed from 2005 to 2009, this has caused or contributed to 7 deaths across England and Wales.

The report suggests that lack of training and poor checking procedures were the underlying causes for these incidents. Unfortunately, these deaths could so easily have been prevented had appropriate checks been in place from the outset.

When will hospitals learn from their mistakes?Hospitals are clearly leaving themselves open to medical negligence claims if they fail to clean and maintain equipment properly. Patient's care is at risk when basic checks are not carried out.

My condolences are with the family of Cecil Barnes who sadly died following an attempt to resuscitate him at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

Amy Bond is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.