†Of all reported retained surgical sponge events.
A surgical sponge is a loosely woven fabric that’s commonly used after birth in normal vaginal delivery or during a surgical procedure to absorb blood and other bodily fluids.
In operating rooms and labor and delivery, there’s a standardized practice of surgical sponge counts. That means, surgeons and nurses manually count each sponge used during the procedure as it goes into a patient and as it comes out.
Despite this process, the count out of a patient may not match the count in. That can result in surgical sponges that are left in the vagina after delivery.
Abdominal pain, bloating, or an infection has led to the discovery of a retained sponge3
Once detected, the mother may have to undergo surgery to remove
The time required to heal from surgery
Mother gets back to normal life and continues to care for her newborn
Help other women by telling them about the problem
Women share how they felt when a retained sponge was discovered after childbirth.4
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