Police have launched an investigation into claims that a surgical glove was left inside a female patient during an operation at Makarios Hospital in the capital. Speaking to The Cyprus Daily yesterday, police spokesman Andreas Angelides confirmed that a complaint was logged at Lykavitos police station by a family member of the patient before she was readmitted to hospital for emergency surgery on Monday.
"The authorities have received a complaint which is being looked into. The investigation is still at a very early stage."
According to Sigmalive, the patient underwent surgery on May 15 and was released from hospital the following day. However, once she returned home she began experiencing severe abdominal pains that would not subside.
She reportedly told her family that she vomited and brought up what appeared to be a small piece of surgical glove before collapsing in pain and being transferred to Nicosia General Hospital. Once at the hospital she claimed she brought up a second piece of glove before being admitted for surgery.
Angelides said the two small pieces of latex had been submitted to police by the relatives of the patient who also filed the complaint.
"This evidence is being examined but our priority now is to interview the patient once she is well enough to speak with investigators following her operation."
Speaking to Sigmalive yesterday, head of the Gynaecological Clinic of Makarios Hospital Stavros Neophytou flatly denied any wrongdoing at the medical facility and said it would be impossible for a patient to expel a foreign object left behind during surgery by vomiting."
"I categorically state that it would be impossible for the glove to be expelled through the stomach."
President of the Pancyprian Medical Association Andreas Demetriou confirmed the association was looking into the incident, noting that mistakes of this nature occur in many countries and not just Cyprus.
"Doctors make errors and it is the association's responsibility to ensure they do not occur again."
He warned that mistakes will increase unless improvements are made to the medical system which is chronically overburdening doctors with work.