AORN Study Identifies Causes of Retained Surgical Sponges in Patients

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on August 25, 2011

Physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals are required to perform their duties in compliance with standards of care accepted by the medical community. Leaving foreign objects in a patients’ body after surgery (including surgical sponges) is normally regarded as a deviation from those standards as such an action may result in permanent injury or death of a patient.

As reported by, a study published by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses in their AORN Journal, the causes of retained sponges following surgical procedures include a variety of events or circumstances that occur at different points during a surgery, such as the miscounting of sponges at various times during surgical procedures.

The results of the study identified 57 cases of potential sponge counting failures. The leading causes for these failures were:

  • Multitasking;
  • Distraction;
  • Not following procedure; and
  • Time pressure.

At Blume Forte, our experienced surgical mishap lawyers in New Jersey are committed to helping victims of medical malpractice investigate and pursue claims for harm caused by medical neglect. If you have suffered illness or injury as the result of a healthcare professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation if your claim is meritorious. Contact one of our medical malpractice attorneys today to evaluate your potential claim at no cost to you at 973-635-5400.

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