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The Joint Commission Issues Sentinel Event Alert on Preventing Retained Foreign Objects
Date:10/23/2013

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly issued Sentinel Event Alert from the Joint Commission calls attention to the frequency of and patient and economic consequences from unintended retained foreign objects after surgery.  Entitled "Preventing unintended retained foreign objects", Sentinel Event Alert Issue 51 was issued by the Joint Commission on October 17th and discusses, among other items, the physical harm to patients from retained items, the most common objects left behind, the associated costs from this error and recommendations and potential strategies for prevention.

Published for Joint Commission accredited organizations and interested health care professionals, Sentinel Event Alerts identify specific types of sentinel and adverse events and high risk conditions, describes their common underlying causes and recommends steps to reduce risk and prevent future occurrence.  The Joint Commission recommends that accredited organizations consider information in an Alert when designing or redesigning processes and consider implementing relevant suggestions contained in the Alert or reasonable alternatives. The full copy of Sentinel Event Alert can be found at http://www.jointcommission.org/sea_issue_51/.

As discussed in Sentinel Event Alert 51, "Guidelines, processes and tools have become available to help team members develop risk-reduction strategies than can be adopted and followed organization-wide.  These strategies include improved multi-stakeholder perioperative processes, enhanced team communication and the use of assistive technology." 

"This action by the Joint Commission illustrates the growing awareness of and intolerance for preventable surgical errors and the specific attention being focused on one of the most common, retained surgical sponges," stated Brian E. Stewart<
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SOURCE Patient Safety Technologies, Inc.
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