Retained surgical sponge events continue to occur despite the implementation of preventive surgical count policies, procedures, and adjunct technologies to manual counting. Such intraoperative mistakes can cause chronic nonspecific symptoms during the early postoperative period. When discovered years after surgery, they raise thorny medicolegal questions. We describe two cases from our practice that illustrate the need to identify the responsibility of the surgical team, as delineated in ministerial directives and the current legal framework, as well as the difficulty in evaluating clinical actions taken at different times and in different settings, with regard to the permanent health damage incurred by sponge retention. Finally, we discuss prevention actions operating room staff should take to reduce the risk of retained surgical sponges.

Retained surgical sponge: Medicolegal aspects

Patrizia Gualniera
Primo
;
Serena Scurria
Ultimo
2018-01-01

Abstract

Retained surgical sponge events continue to occur despite the implementation of preventive surgical count policies, procedures, and adjunct technologies to manual counting. Such intraoperative mistakes can cause chronic nonspecific symptoms during the early postoperative period. When discovered years after surgery, they raise thorny medicolegal questions. We describe two cases from our practice that illustrate the need to identify the responsibility of the surgical team, as delineated in ministerial directives and the current legal framework, as well as the difficulty in evaluating clinical actions taken at different times and in different settings, with regard to the permanent health damage incurred by sponge retention. Finally, we discuss prevention actions operating room staff should take to reduce the risk of retained surgical sponges.
2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3119553
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