The patient has our sponge

Surgeons use a lot of implements and instruments when performing surgery – some of which, all too frequently, stay in the patient afterwards.


Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reckon that surgical implements are left in the patient in one out of every 1000 operations, especially abdominal ones. The consequences can be serious – in one case among the 54 reviewed by the hospital, the patient died (N Engl J Med, 2003; 348: 229-35).

What Doctors Don't Tell You Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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