Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Click here to go to the homepage.
Be the First to Know. Click here to subscribe FREE!
Search Reports: Use quotation marks around your multi-word search terms in the box below to perform search of
Advances in health and medicine.Use " marks around search terms
What's New
News Flash
  Alternative Health
Asthma & Allergies
Breast Cancer
Cardiovascular Health
Children's Health
Dental Health
Fertility & Pregnancy
Men's Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Disorders
Nutrition & Wellness
Pet Health
Seniors' Health
Sports Medicine
Women's Health
Advances in health and medicine.
Click here to sign up for Medical Alerts!
Click below to access other news from Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
  Click here to get Ivanhoe's Medical Headline RSS feed Click here to listen to Ivanhoe's Medical Podcasts
Useful Links
Play It Again, Please
E-Mail a Friend
Order Books Online
Inside Science
Smart Woman
Advances in health and medicine.
Smart Woman Home
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Smart Woman Home
Advances in health and medicine.
Click below to learn about Ivanhoe.
About Us
Contact Us
Ivanhoe FAQ
Our TV Partners
Travel Calendar
Advances in health and medicine.
Ivanhoe celebrates 20 years of medical news reporting reaching nearly 80 million TV households each week. Click here to learn more...
Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported February 19, 2007

Surgery Gone Wrong!

Surgery Gone Wrong!ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Last year, Lenny LeClair went to the hospital for "routine" surgery. But he left the operating room much worse than he came in. "I never stopped throwing up," he says.

LeClair lost 100 pounds!

"I thought I was dying," he says. "I felt like I was dying." When doctors realized what was wrong, LeClair was almost dead. It turned out they left behind a gauze sponge that had pierced his colon.

There are 40 million surgeries in the United States each year, but what's supposed to make you better can sometimes kill you. This year, about 1,500 Americans will leave the operating room with a surgical instrument left in their body. Sometimes it does no harm, but in some cases the consequences are deadly.

Sponges and instruments can get left behind during surgery because they're often covered in blood and hard to spot. And hospital staff sometimes miscounts -- easy to do in emergency situations where seconds matter.

Surgery Gone Wrong!"Basically, the counting procedure for instruments and sponges is the same as it was 40 years ago," Alex Macario, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Stanford School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., tells Ivanhoe. "We're trying to use 21st century technology to help people keep track of supplies in the operating room."

That technology is radio frequency identification (RFID). In a new study, doctors attached RFID chips to surgical sponges and then waved a wand over a patient after surgery. The chips alerted the doctor if a sponge was left inside 100 percent of the time.

Surgery Gone Wrong!"What we're interested in now is how to make it more foolproof so that it's not dependent on the personnel in the operating room to do the scan correctly every time on every patient," Dr. Macario says. He hopes to build the technology into operating rooms in the future. Other surgical instruments -- like scissors -- are sometimes left behind, but in most cases it's sponges.

As for LeClair, he is still recovering and going through more surgeries, and he's in the middle of a lawsuit.

This article was reported by, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: /newsalert/.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford Patient Referral Center
300 Pasture Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
(800) 756-9000

Related Articles in Latest Medical News:

 Doctor Contact
Medical Alerts!

[ Back to General Health Channel Home ]

Most Recent Videos
Your Baby DVD
What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know

Happier Woman DVD
25 ways to reduce stress

Forever Young DVD
25 ways to lose 10 years

Feel Good Again DVD
25 ways to STOP THE PAIN

If a treatment you read about here helps you, let us know...Click here!!

Follow Us On:

Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Twitter page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Facebook page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's YouTube page

Do you know if you are height-weight proportional?

Find out your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Click Here


How safe are your dietary supplements?

Click here to find out with the FDA's list of supplements and drug interactions.

Home | What's New | News Flash | Search/Latest Medical News | E-Mail Medical Alerts!
Ivanhoe FAQ | Privacy Policy | Our TV Partners | Awards | Useful Links | Play It Again, Please
RSS Feeds | Advertising/Sponsorships | Content Syndication | Reprints

Advances in health and medicine.
Copyright © 2016 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

Premium Content in Latest Medical News Denotes Premium Content in Latest Medical News