Hospital and procedure incidence of pediatric retained surgical items

Bo Wang, Jun Tashiro, Eduardo A. Perez, David S. Lasko, Juan E. Sola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Prevention of retained surgical items (RSIs) is the main objective of the World Health Organization "Guidelines for Safe Surgery" (WHO/GSS) 2008 to improve patient safety. Methods We analyzed Kids' Inpatient Database 1997-2009 for RSI in patients aged <18 y. Incidence of RSI was calculated by per 100,000 admissions and per 100,000 procedures. The incidence was analyzed based on hospital bedsize, teaching status, region, and ownership and rural versus metropolitan location based on per 100,000 admissions. Results Overall, 713 cases were identified with a mean (standard deviation) age of 8.31 y (6.62), length of stay of 13 d (20), and total charges of $91,321 (155,054). RSI occurred at a rate of 2.22 per 100,000 admissions and 1.93 per 100,000 procedures; both rates decreased post-WHO/GSS implementation versus pre-WHO/GSS, P < 0.005. On average, public or children's hospitals reported the highest RSI rates (8.89 and 6.07/100,000 admissions, respectively). Small and medium bedsize hospitals had lower rates of RSI post-WHO/GSS, P < 0.05. Nonteaching, non-children's, or public hospitals reported lower rates post-WHO/GSS, P < 0.003. Private (nonprofit) hospitals reported higher rates post-WHO/GSS, P < 0.001. Facilities in the southern United States or in metropolitan areas reported lower rates post-WHO/GSS, P < 0.02. A subanalysis of 107 cases requiring surgical removal demonstrated that fundoplications had the highest rate of RSI, followed by gastric procedures, laparotomy, bile duct procedures, lysis of adhesions, and abdominal wall repair. Conclusions RSI rates have decreased overall after the introduction of the WHO/GSS. The largest reductions have occurred in public or nonteaching hospitals. Only private (nonprofit) hospitals reported increases in RSI since 2008. Higher rates of RSI are associated with fundoplications and other gastric procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-405
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Patient safety
  • Pediatrics
  • World Health organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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