Navigation Links
Sponges, Surgical Tools Sometimes Left in Kids After Operation
Date:11/16/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- It rarely happens, but that's little comfort for those involved: Sometimes surgical instruments and sponges are left inside children undergoing surgery, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

Children suffering from such mishaps were not more likely to die, but the errors result in hospital stays that are more than twice as long and cost more than double that of the average stay, the researchers found.

And that's not even counting the psychological toll on families.

"Certainly, from a family's perspective, one event like this is too many," said lead researcher Dr. Fizan Abdullah, an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins. "Regardless of the data, we as a health care system have to be sensitive to these families," he said.

"The amazing thing is that when you look at the numbers, it translates to one event in every 5,000 surgeries," Abdullah added. "When there are hundreds of thousands of surgeries being performed on children across the U.S. every year, that's a lot of patients."

The report is published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.

For the study, Abdullah's team collected data on 1.9 million children under 18 who were hospitalized from 1988 to 2005. Of all these children, 413 had an instrument or sponge left inside them after surgery, the researchers found.

The mistakes occurred most often when the surgery involved opening the abdominal cavity, such as during a gynecologic procedure. Errors were less likely to occur during ear, nose, throat, heart and chest, orthopedic and spine surgeries, Abdullah's group notes.

Of the 17 patients who had a surgical tool left in them during a gynecologic procedure, 15 had undergone ovarian cyst or cancer-related procedures, one had had a cesarean section and one had undergone a procedure for pelvic scars.

"It's not that people are lazy or careless," Abdullah said. "What happens sometimes is there are places where a sponge will slip, because the body has areas that are hard to see or reach, particularly in the abdomen," he explained.

In the operating room there are safety procedures, such as counting the sponges and instruments before and after the operation. If these procedures were not in place, many more errors would occur, Abdullah added.

After surgery, patients who have a foreign body left inside them often develop punctures, lacerations, infection, fever and pain. An image of the area will reveal the object, and surgeons must perform another operation to remove it.

All this adds considerable time and money, Abdullah noted.

For children who had objects left in them, hospital stays increased from an average of three days to a week. Moreover, average costs soared from $40,502 to $89,415, the researchers found.

"From a health care system's perspective, we need to be more focused on this issue, and we need to be putting in additional safety measures and additions to our procedures and protocols to prevent these events from happening," Abdullah said.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Juan E. Sola, chief of the division of pediatric and adolescent surgery and an associate professor of surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that "any incident above zero is something we need to address."

However, overall, these events are few and far between, he noted.

Sola noted that new systems involve bar-coding every instrument and sponge. Scanning the code after they are removed insures that no objects are left behind, because a computer is keeping track of all the instruments and sponges used, he explained.

"Technology will eliminate a lot of these human errors," Sola said.

More information

For more information on patient safety, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.; Juan E. Sola, M.D., chief, division of pediatric and adolescent surgery, associate professor of surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; November 2010, Archives of Surgery


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hospital Checklists Reduce Surgical Complications, Deaths: Study
2. Scientists develop method to keep surgically-removed prostate tissue alive and working for week
3. New Finding Suggests Safe Surgical Margins When Removing Breast Cancers
4. Telementoring may address need for surgical subspecialty expertise in remote locations
5. Lessons From Flight Crews Can Help Surgical Teams Work Better
6. Surgery on Wrong Patients, Surgical Sites Persists, Study Finds
7. Hospital Collaboration May Boost Surgical Patient Safety
8. Surgical technique relieves painful spine fractures in patients with metastatic cancer
9. John Theurer Cancer Center to present innovative research at 2 surgical meetings
10. Smaller hospitals can provide safe and high-quality surgical care comparable to larger counterparts
11. Jackson Surgical Assistants Names Dr. Sidney Funk as Medical Director
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sponges, Surgical Tools Sometimes Left in Kids After Operation
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association ... Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this ... health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... will be giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of ... that focuses on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of ... National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of ... innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support ... your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa ... contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® ... fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced that ... Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th ... the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop ... use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... EXTON, Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   ... leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today ... of West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration ... the Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by ... Team Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: