Lost Scissors and Import Docs

This woman is probably the best reason I can think of not to allow imported medical professionals.  After 12 years – that’s right TWELVE YEARS – of complaining about abdominal pain, the hospital that performed her surgery x-rayed her to find that she’s been packing around a pair of their scissors. 

Standard medical procedure in the USA is that all surgical instruments are counted prior to surgery, once the surgery is complete but before any sutures, and after the closing the surgical site.  Unless every instrument is accounted for, they keep looking until they find or they don’t close the patient back up.  This has the nifty little benefit of keeping goodies out of people. 

Now, you can’t say that they don’t have the technology unless you are willing to admit that their surgical staff can’t count.  It’s a very low-tech fix.  I also don’t understand why they let this woman suffer for 12 long years for something that’s totally unnecessary.  An x-ray to see if you can see something obvious with a woman who’s complaining about severe, persistent pain is inexpensive and non-invasive. 

What does this have to do with “import docs”?  There’s been a large push underway to raise the H1-B visa limits for nurses, doctors and others in the health care profession.  Frankly, I see this as a quality of care issue.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a doctor from a country where this kind of thing is acceptable.


3 thoughts on “Lost Scissors and Import Docs

  1. I don’t want medical professionals who expect this level of care but there are plenty of cases in the US where medical instruments were left in patients bodies days, weeks, and even years after surgery. One particularly disturbing case involved a man who had gauze left in his testicle after surgery it caused his entire man region to be infected and it had to be removed . I still do not understand why medical instruments do not have rfid tags embedded in them it is a cheap (pennies when mass produced) method of being able to keep track of items. Post surgery all they would have to do is sweep the patients body with an rfid scanner and they would be able to instantly tell if an item had been left inside a patients body and also keep a more accurate count of their instruments.

  2. Yes, but per capita, the number of surgeries where things get left in patients in the US is fairly rare. Our malpractice system, while it is a bit overkill in some cases, makes things like this almost a guarantee that the responsible party won’t be in an operating room any time soon. I’m not sure if the RFID would survive the sterilization process. Most everything in a surgical field is sterile because it’s been autoclaved. That means it gets cooked at 270 deg. F at 30 psi (2 atmospheres) for at least 30 minutes. I can’t imagine an RFID tag that would survive that kind of a roasting.

  3. For one thing, it was really nice of the hospital people to not ask for the scissors back. That being said, I believe being capable of leaving a piece of sharp metal inside somebody after surgery does have a little to do with the training that the people that operated had received and it has everything to do with them being insane. Anyway. I am positive that if I were pursuing a medical career, there is no way that this could happen to me, as I would be too busy passing out at the sight of the first drop of blood.

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