Device Detects Surgical Sponges Left Behind in Patients

DEVICE TO DETECT SPONGES A new hand-held scanning device similar to the wands used by airport security personnel could help surgeons detect surgical sponges accidentally left inside patients, according to research from Stanford University. To work, the technique requires that surgical sponges have radio ID chips inserted in them, but this device could help prevent up to two-thirds of mishaps involving foreign objects sewn accidentally into patients. The study, published this week in the Archives of Surgery, showed that the wand detected 100 percent of sponges in less than three seconds each and with perfect accuracy. The doctors and nurses who studied the new wand said that it is easy to use and could be helpful, but they also complained that it is too big.

OVERWEIGHT TEENS COULD FACE EARLY DEATH The heavier a woman is at age 18, the more likely she is to die young, researchers conclude after a study of more than 100,000 nurses. The most significant increase in death risk was for women who were obese at age 18. Compared with women who are thin at 18, women who are obese at that age have nearly three times the risk of premature death. However, overall risk of death in the women was quite low -- less than 1 percent of the women died during the 10-year study. These findings were published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

DIET DRUG HELPS TEENS LOSE WEIGHT The diet pill Meridia may be effective in helping obese teenagers lose weight, researchers said in a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Doctors from many medical centers followed obese teens for one year. Adolescents taking Meridia lost about 18 more pounds than those undergoing behavior therapy to lose weight. As the weight came off, the teenagers also improved their cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, Meridia is not without side effects. Kids taking the drug were more likely to suffer constipation and were twice as likely to experience an abnormally fast heart rate. Currently, the weight loss drug Xenical is the only medication the Federal Drug Administration has approved to treat obesity in teenagers.

STAT is a brief look at the latest medical research and is compiled by Joanna Schaffhausen, who holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. She works in the ABC News Medical Unit, evaluating medical studies, abstracts and news releases.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Real Housewife Phaedra Parks Lists Home in Suburban Atlanta
Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Phaedra Parks, has listed her 4,000-square-foot home with 5 bedrooms and 6 baths for $340,900.
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine.
(Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center/AP)