A NEWBRIDGE man says he waited for 12 hours with a knife stuck in his back for an operation.

Dean Scriven, 27, from Pantside, said although he was rushed to Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital by ambulance at 3.30am on Saturday, the knife remained in his back for at least 12 hours until it was finally taken out at the University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, the following afternoon.

The six-inch knife was lodged in Mr Scriven's back between his shoulder blades and narrowly avoided his spinal chord and vital organs.

His ordeal began after a knife incident in Caerphilly county borough at 2.30am on Saturday.

Mr Scriven and his mother Christine arrived at the Royal Gwent in an ambulance at 3.30am.

He was taken to theatre at about 7am but was then told he would need to go to Cardiff to have the knife removed.

The reflection of the blade meant doctors at the Royal Gwent couldn't pinpoint where the knife's tip was from the x-ray, and they wanted a specialist to operate on Mr Scriven so contacted the hospital in Cardiff.

Mr Scriven said he was treated with morphine and left to lean on a trolley as he couldn't sit or lie down because of his injury.

The operation in Cardiff eventually took place at 4.45pm.

A spokesman for the Gwent NHS trust said he was satisfied Mr Scriven had been dealt with appropriately, adding: "According to A&E records this patient was treated as a matter of urgency and we are satisfied that the treatment he received was both timely and appropriate."

Mr Scriven's mother Christine, said she was disgusted at the wait.

"We kept being told they had to wait for another doctor and they couldn't do anything, it was a joke, Dean was in terrible pain."

After the Saturday incident, a second man was found to have a knife wound to the chest.

His injuries were non-life threatening and he was released from hospital on Sunday.