The Joint Commission Issues Sentinel Event Alert on Preventing Retained Foreign Objects Recommends the Use of Assistive Technologies as Potential Strategy for Improvement
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly issued Sentinel Event Alert from the Joint Commission calls attention to the frequency of and patient and economic consequences from unintended retained foreign objects after surgery. Entitled "Preventing unintended retained foreign objects", Sentinel Event Alert Issue 51 was issued by the Joint Commission on October 17th and discusses, among other items, the physical harm to patients from retained items, the most common objects left behind, the associated costs from this error and recommendations and potential strategies for prevention.
Published for Joint Commission accredited organizations and interested health care professionals, Sentinel Event Alerts identify specific types of sentinel and adverse events and high risk conditions, describes their common underlying causes and recommends steps to reduce risk and prevent future occurrence. The Joint Commission recommends that accredited organizations consider information in an Alert when designing or redesigning processes and consider implementing relevant suggestions contained in the Alert or reasonable alternatives. The full copy of Sentinel Event Alert can be found at http://www.jointcommission.org/sea_issue_51/.
As discussed in Sentinel Event Alert 51, "Guidelines, processes and tools have become available to help team members develop risk-reduction strategies than can be adopted and followed organization-wide. These strategies include improved multi-stakeholder perioperative processes, enhanced team communication and the use of assistive technology."
"This action by the Joint Commission illustrates the growing awareness of and intolerance for preventable surgical errors and the specific attention being focused on one of the most common, retained surgical sponges," stated Brian E. Stewart, President and CEO of Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. "We are hopeful this Sentinel Event Alert helps bring additional attention to the issue of retained surgical sponges and the improved patient safety and financial outcomes we can enable hospitals to achieve through the use of our clinically proven, market leading solution."
Surgical Adverse Events and Retained Surgical Sponges
Surgical never events are costly to the health care system and are associated with serious harm to patients1. Retained foreign bodies are estimated to represent up to 49.8% of all reported surgical never events1 with surgical sponges representing the vast majority of items unintentionally retained2. Estimated to occur as often as 1 in every 1,000 to 1,500 abdominal operations to 1 in every 8,000 in patient operations2, with an estimated 32 million surgical procedures annually in the U.S.; this implies approximately 4,000 retained sponge incidents each year, or 11 every day. The negative impact to patient outcomes from retained foreign objects varies and can be significant, with permanent injuries in an estimated 16% of incidents and patient mortality in 5%1. Cost ramifications can be considerable and include legal expenses and awards, non-reimbursable healthcare services, loss of time, loss of reputation for involved individuals and facilities and the negative impact on pay for performance metrics.
About Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. and SurgiCount Medical
Patient Safety Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:PSTX, OTCQB:PSTX) through its wholly-owned operating subsidiary SurgiCount Medical, Inc., provides the Safety-Sponge® System, a solution clinically proven to improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs by helping eliminate retained surgical sponges. The market leading retained sponge prevention solution, the Safety-Sponge® System is used in more than 300 government, teaching and community hospitals across the U.S., including half of the top ten U.S. News and World Report 2013-14 Best Hospitals Honor Roll recipients. For more information, contact SurgiCount Medical, Inc. at (949) 387-2277 or visit www.surgicountmedical.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" (within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements reflect our management's current views with respect to future events and financial performance; however, you should not put undue reliance on these statements. When used, the words "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "future," and other similar expressions, without limitation, identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These factors and uncertainties include but are not limited to: our ability to implement in all hospitals within the larger hospitals organizations with which we have agreements, our ability to implement in those hospitals with which we have scheduled implementations, the early stage of adoption of our Safety-Sponge® System and the need to expand adoption of our Safety-Sponge® System; the impact on our future revenue and cash flows from the ordering patterns of our exclusive distributor Cardinal Health; our need for additional financing to support our business; our reliance on third-party manufacturers, some of whom are sole-source suppliers, and on our exclusive distributor; and any inability to successfully protect our intellectual property portfolio. In light of the risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that any forward-looking statement will in fact prove to be correct.
Forward-looking statements can be affected by many other factors, including, those described in the "Business", "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Factors Affecting Future Results" sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2012, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and in our other public filings. These documents are available online through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to senior management, and we have not assumed any duty to update any forward-looking statements.
1 Mehtsun, et al. Surgical never events in the United States, J Surg 2012;10.005
2 Cima RR, Kollengode A, Garnatz J, et al. Incidence and characteristics of potential and actual retained foreign object events in surgical patients. J Am Coll Surg 2008;207:80-87
SOURCE Patient Safety Technologies, Inc.