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: AbbVie shares sink after $21 bn deal for Pharmacyclics

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

7 hours ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

7 hours ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Recommended for you

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

Mar 05, 2015

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

Uganda on defensive over medical 'brain drain' uproar

Mar 03, 2015

Uganda's government on Tuesday hit back at mounting criticism of plans to 'export' over 200 health workers to the Caribbean, insisting it was only seeking to regulate an existing labour market and prevent abuses.

Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Mar 02, 2015

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy" ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.