Reducing the risk of unintended retained surgical sponges: A quality improvement project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Unintended retained surgical sponges (URSSs) are preventable catastrophic events that occur in the surgical environment. Purpose: A community hospital in the southern United States sought to reduce the occurrence of URSSs by implementing a quality improvement initiative. Methods: We conducted a practice improvement project that incorporated safety-sponge technology preceded by education and training. Staff knowledge and practice expectations were assessed using a pre-post-intervention survey followed by internal audit. Results: Staff knowledge significantly improved after the tailored education and training. A chart audit conducted 15 weeks after the intervention showed compliance with the technology was 99.4%, incorrect surgical counts went from 4% to 0.8%, and number of URSSs went from 2 to 0. Conclusion: The project demonstrated a reduced risk of incorrect surgical counts and URSSs in the facility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100099
JournalPerioperative Care and Operating Room Management
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Reducing the risk of unintended retained surgical sponges: A quality improvement project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this