EVERY DAY THEY'RE USED TO SOAK UP BLOOD DURING THOUSANDS OF SURGERIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY...BUT ONE IN 15-HUNDRED SURGERIES, SPONGES DISAPPEAR, LEFT INSIDE PATIENTS' BODIES!
IN UP TO 35 PERCENT OF THOSE CASES, THE PATIENT WILL DIE.
NOW THERE'S AN EXTRA SET OF EYES TO HELP SURGEONS SEE WHAT THEY MAY BE MISSING.
LENNY LECLAIR WENT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR A ROUTINE SURGERY.
"I never stopped throwing up."
BUT HE LEFT MUCH WORSE THAN HE CAME IN.
"I thought I was dying."
A SCAN REVEALED DOCTORS HAD LEFT A GAUZE SPONGE INSIDE LENNY DURING THE SURGERY.
IT PIERCED HIS COLON.
"It was like a septic tank in there."
LENNY'S CASE IS NOT UNUSUAL.
"In the operating room, it's not uncommon, several times a month, the sponge count is incorrect."
UNTIL RECENTLY, UNLESS SURGEONS RE-OPENED THE PATIENT, THERE WAS NO WAY OF KNOWING IF THE MISSING SPONGE WAS LEFT INSIDE OR PUT IN THE TRASH.
CARDIO-THORACIC SURGEON ANTHONY PERRICONE IS PART OF A NEW GENERATION OF DOCTORS USING AN R-F SPONGE DETECTION SYSTEM IN THE O-R.
"This is the marker that's detected by the little wand."
"Ah, so when you hear that, you know there is a sponge."
THE DOCTOR PUTS THE DEVICE TO THE TEST...TRYING TO FIND WHICH ONE OF THESE WOMEN STILL HAS GAUZE INSIDE THEM.
"It looks like you need an operation."
AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF SPONGE DETECTION IS THIS MAT-WHICH AUTOMATICALLY SCANS THE BODY AND WARNS THE SURGEON OF ANY SPONGES THEY FORGOT ABOUT.
NEW TECHNOLOGY IN THE O-R THAT HELPS SURGEONS "SEE" WHAT THEY MAY HAVE LEFT BEHIND...BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
A STUDY FINDS SPONGES ARE LEFT BEHIND THE MOST WHEN PATIENTS ARE MALE OR HAVE A HIGH B-M-I, OR IF THEIR PROCEDURE IS LONGER THAN FOUR HOURS.
BUT HERE'S A LITTLE PEACE OF MIND, MORE THAN TWO-THOUSAND OPERATING ROOMS IN OVER 150 HOSPITALS ARE USING THE R-F ASSURE SYSTEM FOR DETECTING SPONGES.
Dentistry from the Heart gets underway at 7:30 Friday morning.
Banner Health in Phoenix is starting the first phase of a clinical…