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Eliminating Retained Surgical Items Using an Embedded detector system


OHSU # 2071

Technology Overview:

When surgical tools like sponges or instruments are retained in patients following surgery the patients are exposed to infections and other potentially life threatening complications.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services refuse reimbursement for any costs associated with a retained surgical Item (RSI), as they are considered a “never event”.  The treatment of a RSI consists of another operation which is costly and carries additional risks to the patient.  The current standard of care consists counting surgical equipment by hand with X-Rays to look more carefully for RSI if there is a discrepancy in the count.  This technique is flawed, is suspectable to human error and it increases surgical costs by requiring two dedicated personnel and valuable operating room time to complete.

There is need for a refined RSI detection methodology which locates both sponges and metallic instruments, is automated, detects in real-time, has a simple visual display and is low cost.  Our detection device utilizes magnetic fields to create zones of detection that cover all areas of the surgical field (abdomen, chest, pelvis, etc.) and which scans continuously in real-time.  Our innovative detection device is linked to a visual display system, making it clear for the entire operating team to see when an item is retained.  With this device surgical items are located intraoperatively and therefore before the patient leaves surgery thus preventing RSIs.

The magnetic field detector is a mat design that lies underneath the patient in the OR.  This eliminates the need to scan or wand over the surgical field and provides a platform through which continuous near instantaneous scans can be performed in an automated fashion without the need for additional OR team member effort all but eliminating human error.  Additionally, this system performs these tasks and in a safe manner without the use of radiofrequency waves which can be disruptive to medical devices.




For more information, contact:

Trina Voss
Technology Development Manager