Retained surgical sponges: what the practicing clinician should know
ABSTRACT Retained surgical sponges (RSS) are an avoidable complication following surgical operations. RSS can elicit either an early exudative-type reaction or a late aseptic fibrous tissue reaction. They may remain asymptomatic for long time; when present, symptomatology varies substantially and includes septic complications (abscess formation, peritonitis) or fibrous reaction resulting in adhesion formation or fistulation into adjacent hollow organs or externally. Plain radiograph may be useful for the diagnosis; however, computed tomography is the method of choice to establish correct diagnosis preoperatively. Removal of RSS is always indicated to prevent further complications. This is usually accomplished by open surgery; rarely, endoscopic or laparoscopic removal may be successful. Prevention is of key importance to avoid not only morbidity and even mortality but also medicolegal consequences. Preventive measures include careful counting, use of sponges marked with a radiopaque marker, avoidance of use of small sponges during abdominal procedures, careful examination of the abdomen by the operating surgeon before closure, radiograph in the operating theater (either routinely or selectively), and recently, usage of barcode and radiofrequency identification technology.
- Gynecological Surgery 01/2013; 10(4). DOI:10.1007/s10397-013-0789-1
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ABSTRACT: Retained sponges and instruments (RSI) due to surgery are a recognised medical 'never event' and have catastrophic implications for patients, healthcare professionals and medical care providers. The aim of this review was to elucidate the extent of the problem of RSI and to identify preventative strategies. A comprehensive literature search was performed on MEDLINE(®), Embase™, the Science Citation Index and Google™ Scholar for articles published in English between January 2000 and June 2012. Studies outlining the incidence, risk, management and attempts to prevent RSI following surgical intervention were retrieved. The overall incidence of RSI is low although its incidence is substantially higher in operations performed on open cavities. Sponges are the most commonly retained item when compared with needles and instruments. Clinical presentation is varied, leading to avoidable morbidity, and the error is indefensible medicolegally. Risk factors include emergency operations, operations involving unexpected change in procedure, raised body mass index, and a failure to perform accurate sponge and instrument counts. The existing strategy for prevention is manual counting of sponges and instruments undertaken by surgical personnel. This, however, is fallible. Computer assisted counting of sponges using barcodes and gauze sponges tagged with a radiofrequency identification device aiding manual counting have been trialled recently, with success. Vigilance among operating theatre personnel is paramount if RSI is to be prevented. Prospective multicentre trials to assess efficacy of new technologies aiding manual counting should be undertaken if this medical error is to be eliminated completely.Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England 03/2013; 95(2):87-92. DOI:10.1308/003588413X13511609957218 · 1.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The term "gossypiboma" refers to a textile matrix surrounded by foreign body reaction. Gauze and surgical dressings are the most commonly retained materials after laparotomy. To evaluate the incidence of abdominal gossypiboma, its causes and the preventive measures to reduce the frequence and morbimortality. Was conducted a literature review in Medline/Pubmed in english. The survey was about the last 10 years, selecting the headings: gossypiboma, textiloma, retained foreign body and abdominal surgery. Thirty articles were considered in this review. The incidence of gossypiboma is underreported, mostly due to the legal implications of their detection but also because many patients remain asymptomatic. Occur in 1/1000 to 1/1500 of intra-abdominal operations. Clinical presentation is variable, and depends on the location of the foreign body and on the type of inflammatory reaction presented by the host. The recommended course of treatment is excision, which can be accomplished endoscopically, laparoscopically, or via the open route, and seeks to prevent the complications that lead to a high mortality rate. The most important approach is prevention. Preventive measures required include exploration of the abdominal cavity at the end of the procedure, use of textiles with radiopaque markers and a meticulous account of surgical materials. Gossypiboma is a former medical-legal problem, whose incidence is apparently increasing. Therefore needs to be revised to take preventive measures in the operating room.06/2013; 26(2):140-3. DOI:10.1590/S0102-67202013000200015