Surgery is never fun. No matter what it is, few people look forward to going under the knife. Unless they have a passion for being put under with anesthetics (which can be very dangerous), surgeries are risky and not always reliable.
Human error is always involved in each surgery and this puts lives and bodies at risk. No matter how expert the surgeon might claim to be, mistakes still happen and can leave people’s lives hanging in the balance. And recently, when a Fresno, California surgeon at a local hospital accidentally left a towel inside of a patient’s stomach, things go intense. And after fixing the problem, the hospital was slammed with a fine…
Three months after having surgery, a blue towel was removed from a patient’s abdomen. The staff at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, CA, didn’t know it had been left inside the patient. They had no policy for counting towels.
There had been an incorrect scissor count, so the patient was given an X-ray. However, the towel wasn’t visible on the X-ray.
The patient lost 43 pounds in the next month, according to an article by The Associated Press (AP).A scan was done about two months later, and the surgeon told the patient he had an abdominal mass. He was referred to another doctor, who conducted surgery and found the towel.
Now the hospital has been fined more than $86,000, according to AP. The hospital had changed its policy so that all surgical towels are counted in the operating room.
Increasingly, hospitals are reporting that miscellaneous items are being accidentally left inside patients, at least partially because they aren’t being counted, according to a story in the upcoming March issue of Same-Day Surgery.
Unintended retained foreign objects were the most frequent sentinel event reported to The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database for 2015 (115 reported) and 2014 (112 reported), according to a Quick Safety just published by TJC to update its 2013 Sentinel Event Alert. To avoid this problem and its associated liability, read the strategies in our March SDS.
Source: America Now