Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Hip With the Times - July 2017 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Whatever the reason, so-called correct- count retention cases account for about 70% of the 4,500 to 6,000 cases of retained sur- gical items reported in the United States every year. The most likely retained item? Seven of 10 times, it's a sponge. It's estimated that 11 patients every day are sutured up with a surgical sponge still inside them. As retained surgical-sponge inci- dents are often underreported, these statistics are likely low. Then there are the near misses. A 2007 study from Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston found that counts are off in 1 of every 8 surgeries. In none of the study cases was an item left in a patient's body, but the rate of faulty surgical counts is alarming. What's clear from this muddled math is that the manual counting of surgical sponges, sharps and instruments is susceptible to human error and that manual counting alone is insufficient to prevent retained sponges. The Joint Commission, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and the American College of Surgeons recommend the use of sponge counting and detection tech- nologies to supplement and verify the manual count. Beyond the whiteboard No technology can prevent medical mistakes in every situation, but digital safety nets can be an important second line of defense against 4 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U L Y 2 0 1 7 • SPONGE ACCOUNTING Line kick buckets and sponge receptacles with clear plastic bags instead of red or white ones so staff can easily see bloody used sponges and unused sponges. Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR SURGICAL ERRORS

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