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: World's first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat skin disease psoriasis vulgaris

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Short nanotubes target pancreatic cancer

Jun 05, 2014

(Phys.org) —Short, customized carbon nanotubes have the potential to deliver drugs to pancreatic cancer cells and destroy them from within, according to researchers at Rice University and the University ...

Bone marrow-on-a-chip unveiled

May 05, 2014

The latest organ-on-a-chip from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering reproduces the structure, functions and cellular make-up of bone marrow, a complex tissue that until now could ...

Recommended for you

Motion capture examines dance techniques

Sep 29, 2014

WAAPA dance students are set to take part in a world-first biomechanical study that tracks their training, technique and injuries as they develop as professional performers.

User comments : 0