St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, Ind. has implemented a new system in its operating rooms that use RFID to track and locate surgical sponges during surgery.
The RF Surgical Detection System uses a handheld scanning wand hooked up to a compact, self-calibrating console to read micro RFID tags embedded in surgical sponges, towels and other materials. When the surgeon is ready to sew the patient up, the wand is passed over the patient and alarm is sounded if it detects any errant sponges.
According a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the retention of surgical sponges is a leading concern among patients in hospitals and occurs in one out of every 1,000 to 1,500 abdominal operations. The RF Surgical Detection System represents a simple way to provide insurance against these kinds of surgical errors.
The St. Mary Medical Center is now one of over 70 hospitals to uses the RF Surgical Detection System.
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