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Monday 24th June 2019

Surgeon tries to remove wrong organ

13th January 2012

The family of a 77-year-old woman who died after an experienced surgeon unintentionally attempted to take out the wrong organ during an operating theatre complication have commented on the Welsh hospital’s honesty in dealing with the case.


Amy Joyce Francis from Newport was due to have a kidney removed at the Royal Gwent Hospital in July 2010 but instead the consultant urologist Adam Carter tried to remove her liver. She suffered a fatal heart attack after losing blood.

Gwent Coroner David Bowen recorded a narrative verdict which was fully accepted by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

After the hearing, Mrs Francis’ son, Alan, said: “We accept the decision and we also accept that Mr Carter and his team acted in good faith to prolong my mother’s life.

“We appreciated Mr Carter's honesty and hope that we can put it all behind us now. I think that it was the honesty that saved the hospital. If we thought that they had not answered our questions it would have been different. This was an honest mistake.”

Mr Carter explained to the hearing how retired accountant Mrs Francis was due to undergo keyhole surgery to remove a cancerous right kidney and he asked a trainee to carry it out.

But when it came to removing the kidney, the peritoneal sac was covered by more fluid and matter than usual causing the registrar to lose confidence and Mr Carter took over.

However, he pulled the patient’s liver, tearing the organ, rather than the kidney and despite efforts to save Mrs Francis, she died.


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