Wave of wand helps keep patients safe. Edward first in Chicago area to use RF surgical sponge detection system.
It might not be a magic wand, but the wand that's used with the RF Surgical Detection System is helping to prevent dangerous incidents in which sponges and other disposables are left inside patients during surgery.
|Greg Grant, MD, chair of the surgery
department, Edward Hospital and
general surgeon, DuPage Surgical
Consultants, scans a patient
with Edward's RF sponge detection
system following surgery.
In just the past few years the system has headed off dozens of "near misses," according to the manufacturer, RF Surgical Detection Systems.
Edward Hospital is one of about 100 hospitals in the country, and the only one in the Chicago area, to have adopted this system.
"We still do multiple counts of the sponges and instruments before, during and after the surgery, but the new system adds another layer of safety," says Beth Russell, clinical leader of Edward's surgery department.
The RF Surgical Detection System's console and its reusable Blair-Port Wand use radio frequency technology to home in on retained sponges, a mishap that occurs in one of every 1,000 to 1,500 abdominal operations, according to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Edward uses the detection system in all its operating rooms for everything from mastectomies to abdominal and orthopedic surgeries.
Ready-to-use sponges, gauze and towels also are available as part of the system.
They're embedded with an RF tag that's tinier than traditional RFID-based chips, such as the one in your toll road transponder.
Before a patient's incision is closed at the end of surgery, the large-pizza-sized wand is passed over the patient.
If a sponge has been left behind, the system's console will respond with a loud beeping sound, alerting the surgical team to locate and remove the sponge.
The risk of sponges or other objects being left in a patient is greater in some types of operations, including surgery on extremely obese people and exploratory surgery involving a large incision.
"The new system is particularly helpful in these situations," said surgeon Gregory Grant, Edward Hospital surgery department chairman and general surgeon, DuPage Surgical Consultants.
The detection system is just one of many measures taken to keep surgery safe for patients.
"We've learned many lessons from the aviation industry," Grant said. "We have pre-operative checklists called 'time outs.' This allows for a pause before an incision is made to confirm several important elements specific to each patient, including their name, planned procedure, allergies. The checklist also is used to summarize details of the operation when it's completed." Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services