What happens if you leave a sponge? - page 2

I've been searching the web and can't find the answer. We've all heard of sponges getting left behind. So what would be the s/s of a sponge left behind? I have read it can take years to become... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from ortess1971
    We also had a problem with surgeons wanting to use the or towels to pack-we ended up putting it in our policy that they are NOT to be used. LOL..doesn't mean some of them still don't try. As a tech, I actually slapped a doctors hand because he tried to grab it off my back table. This was done in a somewhat humorous manner and I knew the doc fairly well so he didn't flip out. The circulator actually applauded!

    I always just say "too bad, we're going to wait all of 3 seconds for another pack of large laps to get opened instead." lol
  2. by   ewattsjt
    We have one doc that refuses to pack with anything but a blue towel. We attach a small towel clip to the corner of the towel. For every towel clip we get back we better get a towel. I also mark how many were used on my back table.
  3. by   SOCALDAN
    Quote from ewattsjt
    We have one doc that refuses to pack with anything but a blue towel. We attach a small towel clip to the corner of the towel. For every towel clip we get back we better get a towel. I also mark how many were used on my back table.
    And you can co-ordinate with the circulator, to write it on an erase board how many blue towels are inside. and drop them in a kick bucket when pulled out.
  4. by   ewattsjt
    we do not have an eraser board but yes it is coordinated with the circulator.
  5. by   tntech1
    well this is something you do not want see or experience first hand. i was an surgical tech for 10yrs. in 2003, it was change of shift. the nurse and i went to relieve it was a cabg. the tech before me and the originally nurse were not that organized. well to make a long story short, plus to add the surgeon was a "fellow". we could not find an instrument the back table was a mess. if anyone ever scrubbed or circulates knows a cabg has a lot of instruments and tiny needles. we both agreed we need to count laps. count was correct so we thought. come to find out the next day a lap had been left and the patients chest. a lap is place lengthwise in sternum when
    the sternun wires are begin placed. we both were devasted it was so crazy that day. you can never be to careful. i have never had anything like that happen before. i felt really bad for the patient. that patient could had died from this thank god they take chest xrays on the floor after cabg's .
    not to mention the nurse, that,s her license and reputation on the line. i care about everyone and i feel she worked hard to get where she is at. no one gave her that license, she earned it!!!!!
    2 months later scrubbed on a case where the lap had been in the patient for months. 40 y/o female came in for exlap, months early. went home was hurting for months had xray in er. there it was a lap!!! she had to have a colectomy. can you believe that. i was not the original scrub on that case, but they made the orginal nurse circulate the case she was not happy with what she saw!!!!!
  6. by   TracyB,RN
    It's our policy to NOT use towels to pack with. Our scrub lets circ know how many laps are in & both scrub & circ keep track.
  7. by   Logos
    I should never have clicked on that link, I was thinking OR nursing sounded kind of cool, but oh yuck, I'm not sure I can handle it.
  8. by   crackerjack
    Here's a link to various sponges.
    Product Gallery : Pradeep Surgical Dressings Pvt. Ltd.
  9. by   thebonster
    I've seen it twice in 17 years.

    First on the ward a pt getting sicker and septic post op. They CT'd the belly and the resident kept scratching his head - "What is that curled up thing in there"
    Ummmm.... that is the tag of a lap sponge!

    I tell you was the attending doc and the OR nurse manager ever up to the ward in a hurry. Copies of the chart were made, they freaked out.

    The old guy didn't sue - I don't think he even understood it when they explained why he needed to back to the OR.

    Second time was working in the OR. A 8x4 had been used as a "wick" in a small open wound. It was marked on the count sheet, marked on the pts OR record in BIG BLOCK LETTERS by nursing.

    The resident didn't write it in his progress notes, didn't pass it on to team. The wound was mucky and so it just blended in. Nursing staff on the floor didn't look at the OR record, just went with the resident notes. A week later they sewed her shut on the ward. 18 months later she comes back with a "wound that wont heal". It was gross.

    I also had an idiot doc leave a sponge in the belly 2 times inside of a month. Doing a big belly case - told her the count was off she said that it was "The nurses counting that is off" She kept closing and when I said that I was going to say on the incident report that she refused to stop and x-ray she finally relented. Sure enough there it was. Couple weeks later I smartened up and wrote on my table how many sponges were in the belly. I refused to pass any closure until she kept digging around. The resident found it. She as her regular rude self said nothing - so I said in a sweet voice "You are very welcome AGAIN Dr. X for saving you from a law suit"

    What a great day when she left for "bigger and better". My sympathies whoever is stuck with her these days!:spin:
  10. by   Marvie
    Quote from Mommy TeleRN
    I've been searching the web and can't find the answer. We've all heard of sponges getting left behind. So what would be the s/s of a sponge left behind? I have read it can take years to become apparent but I can't find a single thing on how this type of thing becomes apparent. Anyone seen it in real life?

    Mommy
    Yup, seen it in real life. It really was a moment that felt like a giant purple elephant just entered the OR. It was during a breast aug. the scrub nurse and I did a count when the doc placed the implant and was going to the other side, and lo and behold we had 11, not 10 sponges. We counted again-11. then counted slower (like slower was gonna help?) and got 11. We stopped the doc. Told him was happened. As it turned out. This patient came in because of poor wound healing and some drainage. Plus the implant wasn't sitting right. She had the first procedure done elsewhere (thank goodness) but we removed the retained sponge and it was kinda eerie.:smackingf

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