RFID for Surgical Sponge Tracking

While it may seem bizarre, sponges are often left inside patients after surgery, which could eventually lead to major health problems. Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine recently presented a study at the American College of Surgeons’ 2010 Annual Clinical Congress that essentially stated that RFID technology is just as effective as X-rays in detecting surgical sponges.

Adding RF detection to counting sponges will increase the safety of procedures. The researchers used RFID-tagged sponges in 1,600 operations, and in almost all of the cases, the surgical team was easily able to pass a wand over the patient’s body to detect sponges accurately.

While RFID tagged surgical sponges are still in preliminary stages, I’m sure that they will become an operational staple. What do you think? Is this just another study on uses for RFID technology, or do you forsee this becoming the norm in hospitals around the world. Let us know what you think by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Still confused as to what RFID really is? Learn more here.