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No Objects Left Behind
If preventing retained foreign objects is such a high priority, why is it still being reported as a common sentinel event?
Chad Flora
Publish Date: September 19, 2014   |  Tags:   Patient Safety
total silence during counts QUIET, PLEASE Insist on total silence during counts, as distractions are one of the leading reasons for a retained object in a surgical patient.

The surgeon has finished, the techs are cleaning up and the circulator is wondering when the room will be ready. Careful — don't get caught up in the momentum. Before attention shifts to the next case, be certain no objects remain in the patient about to be wheeled into recovery. Let's see what you know about preventing retained foreign objects.

The most common retained foreign objects (RFOs) are _______.

a. suture needlesc. broken drill bit tips
b. spongesd. instruments

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The cost of hospital care after an RFO is as much as ________.

a. $50,000c. $100,000
b. $75,000d. $200,000

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The most common root cause of an RFO during surgery is ______.

a. the lack of defined policies and procedures outlining count practices
b. a loud, chaotic surgical environment
c. changing personnel during surgery
d. the lack of assistive technology to supplement standard counting practices

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Besides counting before the incision, you should count sponges, sharps and instruments __________.

a. before the closure of a cavity within a cavity
b. before wound closure begins and at skin closure
c. when scrub or nursing personnel change
d. all of the above

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Which statement regarding technological counting aids is not true?

a. count-assistive systems detect more count discrepancies involving sponges than manual counting
b. technology aids are more reliable than manual counting methods and could safely be relied on solely for count procedures
c. weigh the cost-per-case ($10 to $15) of assistive technologies against an RFO's economic impact
d. all of the statements are true

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You must account for all sponges, sharps, needles and instruments by the end of surgery. When is that?

a. when the patient leaves the OR
b. anesthesia emergence
c. when the last stitch or staple is placed
d. when the surgeon leaves the OR

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