Feeds

RFID chips could aid surgical litter-bugs

Medics demand small spongeworthy wand

SANS - Survey on application security programs

RFID tags could be used to make sure surgeons don't leave anything behind in patients they have been operating on, something which happens roughly once in every 10,000 operations.

A common thing to be left behind is a sponge, so the usual practice is to count the number of sponges before and after surgery - hoping that the number is the same both times.

This is obviously vulnerable to human error, and research has shown that when sponges have been left behind, the count has been shown to be falsely correct in more than three quarters of non-vaginal surgeries.

RFID tags have been proposed as a solution to this problem, Reuters reports. Sponges and other instruments could be tagged, and then an RFID detector swept over the patient after surgery to make sure nothing had been missed.

A small study of eight patients, reported in the Archives of Surgery, tested the technique. During abdominal or pelvic surgery, sponges were placed inside the patient. Some were tagged, others were not. A surgeon who had no knowledge of the tagged status of the sponges then ran an RFID wand over the patient, checking for the sponges.

Every tagged sponge was detected, and no untagged sponges were falsely reported, the researchers report. On average, it took just three seconds for the wand to locate a sponge.

"When we started, I was concerned about the technological part of the problem," Dr. Alex Macario, the lead author of the study told the news agency. "But our study found the device works 100 percent of the time.

"The real challenge is how you incorporate a new device into the workflow of the operating room. We need a system that is really fail-safe—where, regardless, of how people use a counting system technology, the patient doesn't leave the operating room with a retained foreign body."

The paper also notes that doctors and nurses had asked for a small wand. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.