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Best practices to prevent unwanted retention of medical items

Posted on May 4, 2015 9:14 am under Medical Malpractice

Retained surgical instruments within a patient’s body pose an enormous risk of life-threatening conditions, such as hemorrhage, inflammation, infection, and shock. As such, surgeons and medical personnel should take extra precautions to prevent this injurious, sometimes even lethal medical mistake.

Here are some of the best practices to avoid unwanted medical item retention:

  • Establish a counting system of medical items. Items should be counted at certain points throughout the operation.
  • When counting sponges, beware that the sponges might stick together, posing the risk of being miscounted.
  • Follow the policies established in the operating room.
  • Before the procedure, communicate all the necessary information about the patient.
  • Maintain a clear hierarchy on the floor.
  • At the end of the procedure, schedule a scan on the patient to ensure that no medical items were left inside the treated body part.

At Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, we help victims of medical malpractice in Wisconsin seek justice and financial compensation from the parties that caused them harm. We might be able to put our experience to work for you. Call us at (414) 271-0900 to learn about your eligibility to file a claim.