Hospital to put codes on surgical sponges

Dec 08, 2007

Loyola Medical Center in Chicago is putting bar codes on surgical sponges to make sure they aren't left inside a patient after an operation is over.

U.S. medical studies show that 1,500 people each year have surgical objects accidentally left inside them after surgery, the hospital said Friday in a release.

Surgical sponges left inside the patient can cause pain, infection, bowel obstructions, additional surgeries and even death.

"When there is significant bleeding and a sponge is placed in a patient, it can sometimes look indistinguishable from the tissue around it," said Dr. Steven DeJong.

Each sponge has a unique bar code affixed to it that is scanned by a high-tech device to obtain a count. Before a procedure begins, the identification number of the patient and the badge of the surgical team member maintaining the count are scanned into the counter.

As an added safety feature, the bar code is heat sealed into the sponge to eliminate any danger of it becoming detached during a procedure, the hospital said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'CSI' technology holds potential in everyday medicine

Aug 21, 2012

A scientific instrument featured on CSI and CSI: Miami for instant fingerprint analysis is forging another life in real-world medicine, helping during brain surgery and ensuring that cancer patients get effective doses of chem ...

Plastic 'ninjas' take on deadly bacteria (w/ Video)

Jul 05, 2012

For decades, bacteria like the stubborn methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have concerned gym goers, hospital patients and staff, and parents of school children. MRSA is particularly worrisome because it is ...

Kinect launches a surgical revolution

Jun 08, 2012

Medical imaging today gives surgeons an ability to obtain a virtual peek inside the human body in a way that rivals the campy 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, in which a team of physicians is miniaturized and ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.