Hospital uses new system to help prevent surgical mistakes - New York News

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>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Dr. E, Erik Fisher on parenting and time management

    Dr. E, Erik Fisher on parenting and time management

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:14:51 GMT
    Licensed psychologist and author Dr. Erik Fisher talks about parenting and offers a plan to help busy families with time management.
    Licensed psychologist and author Dr. Erik Fisher talks about parenting and offers a plan to help busy families with time management.
  • Labor Day cookout with Righteous ‘Que

    Labor Day cookout with Righteous ‘Que

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:19:33 GMT
    Righteous ‘Que stopped by FOX 5 Monday morning for a Labor Day cookout! From brisket tips to "Redneck Salad," here's everything you need to know for a perfect holiday barbeque.
    Righteous ‘Que stopped by FOX 5 Monday morning for a Labor Day cookout! From brisket tips to "Redneck Salad," here's everything you need to know for a perfect holiday barbeque.
  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • FOX Medical Team

    Website maps disease outbreak around the world

    Website maps disease outbreak around the world

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:51:35 GMT
    It was a scene that had the whole world talking, two Ebola-infected American aid workers arriving at Emory University Hospital, in full protective gear.
    It was a scene that had the whole world talking, two Ebola-infected American aid workers arriving at Emory University Hospital, in full protective gear.
  • Mom-to-be battles aggressive breast cancer during pregnancy

    Mom-to-be battles aggressive breast cancer during pregnancy

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:40:40 GMT
    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin introduces us to a mother who had to undergo chemo while she was pregnant.
    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin introduces us to a mother who had to undergo chemo while she was pregnant.
  • Easy fixes for anxiety

    Easy fixes for anxiety

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:14:02 GMT

    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin shows us new tactics doctors are trying, to help patients tackle anxiety.

    The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin shows us new tactics doctors are trying, to help patients tackle anxiety.


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