Outpatient Surgery Magazine

No Guarantees - March 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 81 of 138

nate retained objects. Items are left behind most fre- quently in the abdomen and pelvic areas, from where they can migrate to the intestine, blad- der, thorax and stomach. The conse- quences can be dev- astating. Retained surgical items can result in reoperation to remove the missing object, post-op infection and, in rare cases, even death. Retained items generally involve a deviation from routine counting practice caused by distractions, excess noise, time pressures, multi- tasking, fear of speaking up or poor teamwork. Your surgical team members must work together to develop a standardized, transparent, verifiable and reliable counting protocol — and then hold each other accountable to following it. Active participation in the process improves communication and teamwork. You must first define the roles and responsibilities each team member has in the counting process. • Circulating nurses. They must ensure there are no counted items remaining in the OR from the previous case as they set up the room. They then perform the initial count, with help from a scrub tech, by noting the number of soft goods, sharps and miscellaneous items on a whiteboard in the OR for everyone on the team to reference. They can never assume that counts indicated on packaged supplies are correct and must count out individual items before documenting the initial tally. If extra supplies are opened during the procedure, circulating 8 2 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A R C H 2 0 1 7 • ZONE OUT Circulating nurses and scrub techs should perform initial and closing counts in areas that are free from distractions. AORN

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