Get clinical answers to frequently asked questions about counts and retained surgical items.
When should counts of soft goods be performed?
Counts of soft goods should be performed:
- Before the procedure to establish a baseline and identify manufacturing packaging errors (ie, initial count)
- When new items are added to the field
- Before closure of a cavity within a cavity (eg, uterus)
- When wound closure begins
- At skin closure at the end of the procedure or at the end of the procedure when counted items are no longer in use (ie, final count) and
- At the time of permanent relief of either the scrub person or the RN circulator, although direct visualization of all items may not be possible.
- Recommended practices for prevention of retained surgical items. In: Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc; 2013:305-322.
Updated January 28, 2013.