Bar Codes Keep Surgical Objects Outside Patients

Every year about 1,500 people in the US have surgical objects accidentally left inside them after surgery, according to medical studies. To prevent this potentially deadly problem, Loyola University Medical Centre is utilising a new technology that is helping its surgical teams keep track of all sponges used during a surgical procedure. Each sponge has a unique bar code affixed to it that is scanned by a high-tech device to obtain a count. Before a procedure begins, the identification number of the patient and the badge of the surgical team member maintaining the count are scanned into the counter. When a sponge is removed from a patient, it is scanned back into the system. A surgical procedure cannot end until all sponges are accounted for — via Slashdot

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