A new medical device company known as Stryker has acquired Patient Safety Technologies hoping a state of the art bar-coded sponge system could be used to eradicate this problem. The system will use bar codes that scanned, even when soaked in blood. This in addition to electronic counter which will replace the current sponge counting systems found in most hospitals. The current systems of counting are vulnerable to human error and are incorrect in 10 to 15 percent of surgeries, which is unacceptable.
Sponges left in patients is the most prevalent surgical error after 20 years’ worth of malpractice cases were analyzed. One estimate states that 2,024 such claims occur every year in the United States, which translates to over five each day. Mayo Clinic conducted a review between 2003 and 2006 that indicated one out of every 5,500 surgeries would become a “retained foreign object” case. There was no established system throughout the U.S. for tracking the frequency with which these types of mistakes occur. Until the breakthrough by Patient Safety Technologies.
If you feel that you may be a victim of a surgical error please give Franklin Law Group a call for a consultation.
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