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Independent Clinical Research Confirms Clinical Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness of the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System
Date:1/18/2011

IRVINE, Calif. and DUBLIN, Ohio, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Results of a multi-year, independent clinical research study on retained surgical sponges published in the February edition of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety show that the institution implementing the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System eliminated the occurrence of retained surgical sponges and the costs associated with these preventable surgical errors.  

The peer-reviewed publication details two, randomized, controlled trials conducted at a high-volume surgical practice, the subsequent implementation of the Safety-Sponge® System across all of the 128 operating rooms at the affiliated institution and a comprehensive evaluation of the solution after 18 months of use. The evaluation considered variables including system effectiveness on reducing retained surgical sponges, efficiency, impact on operative time, ergonomics and staff satisfaction.      

Key results and conclusions of the study include:

  • Prior to implementation, a retained surgical sponge occurred at the institution on average every 64 days. During the study, 87,404 procedures were performed over 18 months using 1,862,373 Safety-Sponges®, and none were retained.  
  • Use of the Safety-Sponge® System caused no workflow disruption or increase in case duration.
  • Staff satisfaction with the Safety-Sponge® System was acceptable with a high degree of trust in the system.
  • The Safety-Sponge® System was found to be highly reliable and cost-effective.

"To my knowledge this is by far the most extensive study ever performed on this important patient safety issue, and we are proud to have this comprehensive, independent research validate the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System," said Brian E. Stewart, president and chief executive officer of Patient Safety Technologies, the parent company of SurgiCount Medical, and co-inventor of the Safety-Sponge® System.

The SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System is a complete sponge counting and documentation system shown to help prevent the occurrence of retained sponges by assuring a more accurate accounting of those items before and after surgery. By labeling each sponge with a unique identifier, the system helps to prevent users from incorrectly counting the individual sponges and unintentionally leaving one inside the patient. The system is currently used in more than 65 government, teaching and community hospitals across the U.S., including five of the 14 "Honor Roll Hospitals" for 2010-2011, as cited by U.S. News and World Report.

"Avoidable medical errors cost the U.S. health care industry an estimated $20 billion every year and put patient lives in jeopardy(1)," said Lisa Ashby, president, Category Management for the Medical Segment of Cardinal Health. "We work continuously with partners like SurgiCount to connect our customers to innovative, cost-effective solutions that help reduce errors and increase the quality of care, and these results confirm that we're making a positive impact on the future of health care."

The Safety-Sponge® System is a proprietary product provided by SurgiCount Medical, the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of Patient Safety Technologies (OTC Bulletin Board: PSTX), and distributed by Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH).

About Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. and SurgiCount Medical

Patient Safety Technologies, Inc., through its wholly owned operating subsidiary SurgiCount Medical, Inc., provides the Safety-Sponge® System, a proprietary solution shown to help improve patient safety and reduce health care costs by preventing one of the most common errors in surgery, retained foreign objects.  For more information, contact SurgiCount Medical, Inc. at (949) 387-2277 or visit www.surgicountmedical.com.

About Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $99 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, improving efficiency and quality, and increasing profitability. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products to more than 60,000 locations each day. The company is also a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company supports the growing diagnostic industry by supplying medical products to clinical laboratories and operating the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #17 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at cardinalhealth.com.

(1) J. Shreve, J. Van Den Bos, T. Gray, M. Halford, K. Rustagi, and E. Ziemkiewicz, "The Economic Measurement of Medical Errors." P 5, 2010.

Some statements in this release may be "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "potential," "continue" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties, and there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  These factors, risks and uncertainties are discussed in Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, as updated from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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