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Surgical objects left in patients on the rise in Canada

More than 550 objects have been unintentionally left in Canadian medical and surgery patients between 2016 and 2018, and the problem appears to be getting worse.

A new report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information says 553 foreign items – such as sponges and medical instruments – were left behind over that two-year period. That's a 14%  increase between the most recent data collected in 2017–2018 and statistics collected five years earlier.

It's also more than two times the average rate of 12 reporting countries, including Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway, which had the next highest rates.

The information was examined as part of a broad look at how Canada's health-care system compares to other member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Source: CTV News, 7 November 2019

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Retained foreign objects are a persistent challenge in the US too. Accreditation giant the Joint Commission in Illinois has stats drawn from voluntarily submitted reports that indicate their  hospitals struggle with the problem too. 

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