A patient had a tissue sample taken from the wrong organ during a biopsy at Princess Royal Hospital.
A sample from a patient’s liver was removed during a pancreas biopsy.
This information was revealed in a Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust board meeting paper from the end of July.
The mistake was picked up at the end of the procedure in June and hospital staff apologised to the patient.
A spokesman for the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said that this type of incident was known as a ‘Never Event’.
Never Events are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.
The spokesman said these events are very rare and the majority cause minimal or no harm to the patients involved.
He said: “We realise that these incidents are called ‘Never Events’ because they should never happen and we have made significant improvements in recent years to try to ensure that all preventable incidents do not occur.
“Whenever we have reported a ‘Never Event’, we have always informed the patient involved and their family, we have thoroughly investigate it and we have put measures in place to prevent it from happening again.”
The trust has commissioned an external review from an expert in patient safety and the findings are due imminently.
The board report said the investigation was ongoing but all theatre personnel had been made aware of the incident and checklist procedures reinforced.
Princess Royal Hospital’s latest CQC report was published in June last year.
It concluded that the hospital was meeting all standards apart from ‘safety and suitability of premises’.
The report stated that the hospital had not met that standard because of concerns about the storage of clinical waste, the security of the premises and the hospital’s computer system and the maintenance of some corridor areas.
These issues were judged to have a minor impact on people who used the service.
The report also stated that the hospital was clean and procedures were in place to prevent and control the spread of infections.