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Objects accidentally left in the body after surgery

This measure refers to objects, such as surgical instruments and sponges, unintentionally left inside a patient's body after a surgical procedure. Although these kinds of occurrences are rare, they present a risk to patients and may require additional surgery to remove the object. The risk of having foreign objects left in the body after surgery is higher during emergencies.

Hospitals follow careful procedures, such as using special communication methods in the operating room and counting sponges and surgical instruments throughout the surgery. Average or lower rates of objects left unintentionally in a patient's body may be a sign of that the hospital's health care professionals are carefully following practices to prevent its occurrence.

Objects Accidentally Left in the Body After Surgery


July 2009- 
June 2011

MU Health Care 0 per 1,000 patient discharges
U.S. average 0.028 per 1,000 patient discharges

For the above table: Smaller numbers closer to zero are better.

More health care-acquired conditions measurements

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