Quarterly Beyond the Count: Preventing the Retention of Foreign Objects
MedSun: Newsletter #39, August 2009
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory
The retention of a foreign object may cause serious patient harm and often requires further medical treatment. Surgeons and operating teams routinely rely on the practice of a sponge, sharp, and instrument count to reduce the risk of a retained foreign object. However, counting alone may be insufficient. This article examines risk factors for retained foreign objects following surgery and addresses the role of human factors analysis to uncover system vulnerabilities. Risk reduction strategies include improved perioperative processes, perioperative team communication, and the use of assistive technology.
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory. Quarterly Beyond the Count: Preventing the Retention of Foreign Objects June 2009.