Hospital uses new system to help prevent surgical mistakes - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

FOX Medical Team

Hospital uses new system to help prevent surgical mistakes

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

When you're facing surgery, the last thing you want to think about is somebody making a mistake. A new study shows that every year, surgical teams make about 4,000 serious errors in the operating room.

Safety experts say those mistakes are preventable, and should never happen.

Surgical sponges are used to absorb blood during an operation. They are counted going in and coming back out of the patient. Researchers found that nearly 40 sponges are left inside surgical patients every week in the United States.

Atlanta Medical Center is trying to find a better way of keeping track of sponges. In operating rooms at the hospital, sponges going into and out of a patient are counted by hand.

"The minute we have an inaccurate count, the surgery stops.  And we start calling additional staff into the operating room and we start going through the trash one piece at a time," said Janie Hamilton.

Hamilton is the Director of Surgical Services at Atlanta Medical Center. She says tracking down a missing surgical sponge can take 10 to 20 minutes, sometimes longer, while the patient stays under anesthesia and the team waits to close.
    
It's why the hospital is trying a new type of sponge that could be a lot easier to find. It's called the RF Assure System, and the hospital is the first to use it. Each sponge is imbedded with a radio frequency tag, so if a sponge goes MIA, the OR team runs a wand over the patient, listening for the signal the tag gives off.
      
"We have had a situation where we knew that we had a miscount. We were able to wand the patient, tell the physician exactly where it was located in the abdominal cavity, as far as side, and he was able to go in and retrieve it," said Hamilton.

It's a small device, but Hamilton believes the little tags may make your next surgery a lot safer.

"So, I love it. I think it is the best thing that has happened in our medical health care environment today," Hamilton said.

Atlanta Medical Center is the only metro Atlanta hospital using the RF Assure Detection System to track surgical sponges. The hospital is a level one trauma hospital. When critical patients are brought in, there's not a lot of time to count and recount sponges, so the detection system serves as a backup.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Recipe: Blissful Lowcountry Boil

    Recipe: Blissful Lowcountry Boil

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:05:26 GMT
    Blissful Lowcountry Boil Ingredients
    Blissful Lowcountry Boil Ingredients 4qts Water ½ cup Old Bay ½ cup Lemon Juice 1tbsp kosher salt 2 sliced shallots 8 garlic cloves 1lb Andouille sausage 1lb of New Potatoes 6 ears of corn shucked and
  • Pike Nurseries

    Spring Container Gardens

    Spring Container Gardens

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:21:54 GMT
    Container gardens are just as unique and diverse as gardens.
    Container gardens are just as unique and diverse as gardens.
  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • Deal signs medical school scholarship regulation

    Deal signs medical school scholarship regulation

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation requiring some recipients of a state medical school scholarship to work in rural areas.
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation to expand a scholarship program that will allow more medical students to practice in high need rural areas.
  • FOX Medical Team

    Eat for the Test!

    Eat for the Test!

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-04-17 11:48:58 GMT
    If you want your student to test well, Cheryl Williams, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says breakfast is the most important meal.
    If you want your student to test well, Cheryl Williams, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says breakfast is the most important meal.
  • TV again tied to poor sleep among kids

    TV again tied to poor sleep among kids

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:19 AM EDT2014-04-17 11:19:13 GMT
    In another blow to kids' pleas to watch more television before bed, a new study suggests increased TV time is linked to less sleep.
    In another blow to kids' pleas to watch more television before bed, a new study suggests increased TV time is linked to less sleep.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices