Jewelry in the OR - MisInformation - page 2
Having just finished reading a prior post about jewerly in the operating room on patients I found there was a bit of mis information and lack of understanding regarding jewelry on patients in the OR... Read More
Feb 2, '12As a former OR nurse and current med-malpractice defense attorney, I offer the following observations and opinions: jewelry and other valuables should be left at home. Reasons: 1. Safety. PtWRing does not realize that finger swelling can occur after the patient is under surgical drapes and the hands are no longer visible. Sorry, but OR nurses and anesthesia providers are not going to monitor a patient's fingers throughout surgery. Also, by the time swelling occurs, it may be too late to cut the ring to prevent damage. And the risk of burns is minimal but so long as we can prevent burns, we will. 2. Risk. Why bring a valuable to the OR or hospital and risk it getting lost, stolen, etc. I am reminded of a claim where the patient left a laptop unsecured in his room when he was transported to another facility for a procedure, notwithstanding that he was cautioned by the hospital not to leave valuables in his room. When his laptop disappeared, he wanted the hospital to pay for it. Sorry, no dice. And yes, it is an "inconvenience" for OR nurses to keep up with patient valuables. The OR staff is under tremendous pressure to be safe and efficient. The OR nurse's focus is on maintaining safety and sterility in the OR, not on securing jewelry that can be left at home. While I sympathize with PtWRing's situation vis-a-vis her husband's wedding ring, I hope she will keep an open mind regarding why patients are asked to remove rings before going to the OR.