Mum needs half of lung removed after surgeons left plastic tube inside her body

The removed part of Julie Jones' lung and the plastic tube.  Pictures: Ross Parry Agency
The removed part of Julie Jones' lung and the plastic tube. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency
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A WOMAN is suing a Yorkshire hospital where surgeons left a four-inch plastic tube inside her - requiring the removal of half her lung four years later to finally get rid of it.

Julie Jones, 51, underwent a routine operation to have her spleen removed by a ten-strong surgical team in October 2009, and thought she had made a full recovery.

Julie Jones

Julie Jones

But she says staff at St James’s Hospital in Leeds had left a tube inside her lung which threatened to kill her at any moment if

it pierced her liver.

The problem was only spotted when Ms Jones, who moved from Leeds to Devon in 2011, began to feel seriously ill and went to hospital for a scan and chest x-ray.

Staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Exeter immediately detected the tube and advised a non-invasive operation to try and remove it.

But after six failed attempts they decided to operate and take out half of her lung, leaving the mother-of-four disabled.

Ms Jones said: “When the doctor told me that I would have to have part of my lung removed I asked him what exactly the ‘foreign body’ was.

“The doctor just told me I’d been horribly let down on my last operation and showed me the x-ray of my chest.

“When I saw the tube in my lung I was immediately sick, I couldn’t even eat anything for three days because I was so repulsed.

“How on earth could a team of ten surgeons have missed a four-inch plastic tube with shiny metal clips - it’s terrifying and disgusting.”

She added: “The surgeons told me that the tube was only one centimetre away from my liver.

“At any minute it could have slipped down and pierced my liver - killing me instantly.”

Since the operation last November Julie, a former cleaning supervisor, says she has been left breathless, lethargic and unable to walk more than a few paces.

She said: “I used to be really active; I used to love walking and I worked for a living.

“Now I can’t even take more than a few steps until I’m knackered.

“I have basically been left disabled for the rest of my life because those surgeons in Leeds left a plastic tube inside me.

“I don’t know if those surgeons were half asleep, drunk or what. But there were ten of them involved in the operation - ten of them - and nobody noticed it. It’s terrifying.”

She added: “I think people need to know that this sort of thing does happen.”

Ms Jones is now suing The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for medical negligence.

The Trust confirmed Ms Jones was a patient at St James’ University Hospital and that they were looking into a legal claim dating back to 2011.

A spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on this case as a legal claim is ongoing.”

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I can confirm this patient had an operation at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where a foreign body was removed from her chest.”