In Surgery, Failing ‘No Sponge Left Behind’

Here’s a scary statistic: A surgeon in the U.S. leaves a foreign object, such as a sponge or towel, inside a patient’s body after an operation 39 times a week. Even scarier, surgeons perform the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week and operate on the wrong body site 20 times a week, according to an analysis of national malpractice claims by patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Researchers also found that patients 60 or older …