Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Sensors in Surgical Sponges May Mean Fewer Left Behind

Radio-frequency tags plus counting could improve patient safety, surgeons report

From a Oct 5 HealthDay news item

Placing radio-frequency tags inside surgical sponges could help reduce the number left behind in patients after operations, according to U.S. researchers.

The tags — which use the same technology as clothing store tags and pet microchips — could be used along with manual counting and X-ray detection to improve patient safety, said the surgeons at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

“Any foreign body present long enough has a risk of causing infection,” lead investigator Dr. Christopher Rupp, a gastrointestinal surgeon, said in a UNC news release. “We have seen patients in whom sponges have eroded into other organs, mainly the intestines. People can come back with chronic pain issues after an operation that also leads to detection of a retained surgical sponge.”


October 7, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , ,

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