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A hospital launched an investigation after staff stuck a needle in the wrong baby.
They had been due to carry out a lumbar puncture—where a needle is inserted between the bones in the lower spine—on a youngster in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU).
However, the procedure was performed on the wrong patient at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
The mistake, which has been recorded as a “never event”, has triggered an investigation and been reported to the hospital’s board, reports StokeonTrentLive.
A “never event” is classified as a “wholly preventable serious incident”.
The board report states: “Lumbar puncture undertaken on incorrect patient in NICU. The patient did not suffer any harm.
“The child was identified following the procedure. The correct baby had the lumbar puncture completed.”
Chief Nurse Ann-Marie Riley added: “We have strict protocols to investigate fully any serious incidents that are recorded in our hospitals.
“Although there was no harm to either patient as a result of this incident, we take all incidents of this nature extremely seriously.
“Our staff work closely throughout the investigation period to understand why an incident occurs and how we can improve our practices.”
North Staffordshire Healthwatch leader Ian Syme has been left alarmed by the blunder.
He said: “Never events should never happen and they have to be reported at the highest level of the NHS.
“The whole clinical team and the hospital has to do a cause analysis and has to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“It was a baby. They’ve been lucky because that could have harmed the baby.
“It does exemplify the pressure on maternity and children’s services where mistakes can be made.
“As we know, hospitals are under extraordinary pressure.
“I’ve been campaigning for over 25 years and this is the highest amount of pressure I’ve ever seen on the NHS and the care system in England.”
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