The operating room at The University of Toledo Medical Center has started to use new technology to detect surgical sponges.
The new technology from California-based RF Surgical Systems includes radiofrequency machines, sponges and mats. With this new equipment, a wand is used to detect the radiofrequency sponges as well as a detection mat to put under heavier patients.
“This is an important safety initiative for our operating room, our hospital, but most importantly our patients” said Ed Hall, administrator of surgical services. “The Association of Operating Room Nurses recommends this type of safety measure.”
Hall said sponges are the most commonly retained item during surgery with it happening in an estimated one in every 7,000 surgeries.
“This is an industry-wide problem that can be curbed significantly with this technology. Humans make mistakes,” he said. “Some hospitals are already using these sponges. This is a safeguard and gives us extra reassurance.”