BOCA RATON, Fla. - The operating room can be a stressful environment but there's a high-tech tool that's helping surgeons avoid mistakes.
It’s called the Blair-Port Wand.
The wand, created by RF Surgical Systems, detects sponges, gauze, and operating towels that are missing in a post-surgery count.
This becomes especially important if a sponge or towel is mistakenly left in a patient once a surgery is complete.
Boca West Medical Center Chief of Surgery Ron Stricoff said the wand is a helpful safety net in the operating room.
"If you add to that trauma, emergency surgery or unexpected findings then the energy level increases the amount of instrumentation increases and everyone has to multitask," Stricoff said.
Small chips in towels, gauze and sponges make the wand sound off.
The company that makes the wand says 1 in every 1500 surgery patients have something left in their body after surgery.
The wand is currently being used at Boca West Medical Center.
Late last year, a patient of Good Samaritan Medical Center filed a lawsuit against two radiologists and a surgeon at the hospital.
A foot-long by foot-wide sponge was left in the patient during his surgery in late 2009.
The Blair-Port Wand is now used at Good Samaritan Medical Center.
The wands can potentially save hospitals a lot of money. By taking 15-to-20 seconds, spotting something left inside of a patient can prevent more surgeries and lawsuits and save the reputation of doctors and hospitals.
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