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Prevent Retained Foreign Objects during Robotic Surgery, Says ECRI Institute PSO

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 12:03pm
Bio-Medicine.Org

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robotically-assisted surgery has surged in popularity over the last decade. Although retained foreign objects might be assumed to be less likely during a robotically assisted procedure, ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization (PSO) has received and analyzed reports indicating that this might not always be true.

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"During robotic surgery, it may be necessary to convert to open surgery. These procedures require different instruments, which are not usually included in the pre-operative count," states Karen P. Zimmer, MD, MPH, FAAP, medical director, ECRI Institute PSO. "These instruments need to be noted and included in the final count in order to prevent unintentional retention of foreign objects," says Zimmer.

A recently released Patient Safety E-lert, "Retained Foreign Objects: It's Not the Robot's Fault," highlights this patient safety issue involving retained foreign objects associated with robotically assisted surgery. The issue was brought to ECRI Institute PSO's attention in its analysis of reports submitted by participating healthcare providers. As part of its mission to research the best approaches to improving patient care, ECRI Institute is sharing this special E-lert with the healthcare community.

"Reports submitted to Patient Safety Organizations can help raise awareness of less known or undetected risks, like those highlighted in this report," advises Barbara Rebold, RN, MS, CPHQ, director of operations, ECRI Institute PSO. "Our goal in collecting patient safety reports is to share the lessons we've learned with the entire healthcare community to help make
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