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Friend has just been told they've "lost a couple of sponges" during her c-section last week...

(14 Posts)
Jackaroo Sun 18-Oct-09 07:46:05

still no idea where they are.. can someone tell me? Is this common/normal/worrying? Any ideas where they might turn up?

They've x-rayed the abdominal area and no sign (they have metal thread in them for this eventuality it seems).. but there are definitely two missing.

can anyone reassure?



kreecherlivesupstairs Sun 18-Oct-09 09:23:51

It's not at all common and I imagine they were packed away with the instruments, although when I did my theatre training, the sponges were counted into 10's IIRC.
I would tell her not to worry too much, she's had x-rays and they haven't shown up so it's doubtful that they are inside her.

mathanxiety Sun 18-Oct-09 19:16:43

This happened to one of my ex SILs. She came down with a severely high fever one day after delivery and was finally persuaded to go to A & E. They found a lost sponge inside her (she had a high forceps delivery) and had to give her an D&C type op to remove it. Hosp had no idea they were missing a sponge, either angry It was a close run thing. Something like a sponge will cause infection and fever or other symptoms, so if there are no signs, she's probably in the clear.

sherby Sun 18-Oct-09 19:19:43

they actually lose sponges in people???


MaureenMLove Sun 18-Oct-09 19:45:37

There was a pair of surgical scissors missing, the day DH had an operation and since he was down there for over 7 hours, they seems to think there was a strong possibilty he had them!

He was x-rayed, they weren't there. But angry that they had lost them in the first place!!

lou031205 Sun 18-Oct-09 19:54:20

It is very unusual. All swabs etc. are packaged in ten's and counted in and out.

agedknees Sun 18-Oct-09 19:56:24

They should not start to close the patient until all swabs/instruments have been counted and the count is correct and checked by 2 people.

Am gobsmacked!!!

They should definetly have counted them as correct on the day, though I know that the counting is sometimes done as they're closing the person up. I've known swabs be lost before and after loads of hunting they have always turned up, normally at the bottom of a bucket full of clotted blood.

At least they aren't in her, she's been x-rayed and they're not there. They would show up if they were. They'll have been chucked out in the rubbish by now. A better proceedure would have been to get her x-rayed at the time and then not allow any rubbish to be thrown out until they're found.

Thankfully I've never known it go as far as needing to x-ray someone but I've certainly spent time going through bin bags.

Jackaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 00:40:59

Thanks, you"re right of course, if they're not there they must be in the rubbish.

It was a slightly selfish interest tbh because I am seeing the same obs. a few days for a small gynae procedure following my delivery 4 months ago... at which time he didn't diagnose my haematoma until I'd been in acute pain for 2 weeks...nor a very bad infection which I couldn't feel because I still ahve sensation problems following the birth/epidural... so am starting to get a bit wary.

So am worried that this isn't a common event either, drat.

You can all rest assured that this is not in the UK though!

thanks again.

mathanxiety Mon 19-Oct-09 15:39:09

I would think twice about going to this doctor of yours. Are there no other alternatives? He sounds as if he went to the Hollywood Upstairs Medical School...

Jackaroo Tue 20-Oct-09 01:46:38

What does that mean???? I'm assuming it's an acronym or something that I just don't get.

I'm baffled as he was recommended by half a dozen different women!

mathanxiety Tue 20-Oct-09 17:42:24

Dr Nick in the Simpsons was a graduate of the Hollywood Upstairs Medical School. smile Didn't mean to cause consternation...

If the dr has been slow at diagnosis and you were in pain for two weeks, and missed an infection too, plus the friend's experience with the possibly missing sponge, I would consider taking my business elsewhere. There are probably better doctors out there.

Jackaroo Thu 22-Oct-09 08:16:04

if anyone is still reading - the problem is abating all by itself, so surgery avoided - yay!

mathanxiety Thu 22-Oct-09 18:39:09

Glad you dodged the bullet smile

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