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Archive July 2012 XIII, No. 7

Thinking of Buying - A Sponge Management System

Even correct counts can result in retained objects.

Lynn Bridgewater, MSN, RN


Sponge Management SystemIn the year before our healthcare system implemented a sponge management system, our 36 ORs saw 13 incidents of retained sponges. In each case, the manual counts were correct. What that says is, although 13 people were doing the right thing, patients were still at risk. While manual closing counts are the standard of care, AORN estimates 76% to 88% of retained objects follow counts that turn out to be falsely correct. Over the next few pages, we're going to review the sponge management systems that double-check the accuracy of your closing counts, including the product we bought about 4 years ago that's kept us free of retained object incidents ever since, and even prevented 3 incidents, in which our counts were correct, but our devices detected retained sponges.

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