Where’s the Sponge…Bob?


I know for a fact hospitals, their physicians and clinical staff literally work miracles each and everyday. Sometimes they can be an undeserved “whipping boy” for every ill, extravagant expense and poor outcome. That being said, there are risks associated with every in-patient admission and surgical procedure.

If this doesn’t get your attention nothing will…..

  • A dozen times a day surgeons sew up and leave behind sponges, needles and instruments, according to an examination by USA Today of Medicare reports, academic studies and legal records.
  • Incredibly, 2/3rd of these items are surgical sponges. On average it costs $60,000 to retrieve the item and upwards of $200,000 in malpractice suits.

Tiny sponge bar codes and embedded radio frequency tracking systems exist. Health systems that have enacted these technologies report zero incidents over the last few years.

Unfortunately, most hospitals have not adopted this hi-tech solution as it may increase the cost of each surgery by $8 to $12!! Hospitals have concluded that these incidents are so rare they choose to invest their efforts elsewhere.

As you might imagine, there are no recorded cases of sponges left behind on surgeries that never occurred.

Call us, We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer

Posted in OMCA