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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1999 December;40(6):825-7

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Gauze swabs left intrapericardially following cardiac surgery

Alotti N., Kecskes G., Simon J., Tomcsanyi J.*, Papp L.

From the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery University Medical School of Pécs and of Zala County Hospital, Zalaegerszeg *Department of Cardiology, Korányi Institute, Budapest


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The occur­rence of sur­gical ­gauze ­swabs ­left in the ­body fol­lowing oper­a­tions is not as ­rare as one ­would sus­pect, how­ever the ­actual inci­dence is dif­fi­cult to esti­mate. ­This acci­dent ­seems to be occur­ring ­most fre­quently in gen­eral and gas­tro-in­tes­tinal sur­gery fol­lowed by oper­a­tions in gynae­cology and obstet­rics and ortho­paedics. ­There ­have ­been ­only a few ­papers in the lit­er­a­ture ­dealing ­with the ­topic of for­eign ­bodies ­left in ­place ­after car­diac sur­gical pro­ce­dures. In ­this ­paper two ­cases of ­gauze ­swabs ­left intra­per­icar­dially fol­lowing car­diac sur­gery are pre­sented. The ­issue ­goes far ­beyond pro­fes­sional sig­nif­i­cance ­alone, but ­raises impor­tant and crit­ical ques­tions of med­ical ­ethics let ­alone ­legal impli­ca­tions.

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