Si no puedes visualizar correctamente esta comunicación, pincha aquí
If you are unable to see this email correctly, click here

On an overnight shift in 2005, Sophia Savage, a nurse in Kentucky, felt a crushing pain in her abdomen and started vomiting.
The next day she underwent a CT scan, which led to a startling diagnosis: A surgical sponge was lodged in her abdomen, left behind, it turned out, by a surgeon who had performed her hysterectomy four years earlier. Ms. Savage’s doctor ordered immediate surgery to remove the sponge. “What they found was horrific,” Ms. Savage said. “It had adhered to the bladder and the stomach area, and to the walls of my abdominal cavity.”
The festering sponge had spread an infection, requiring the removal of a large segment of Ms. Savage’s intestine. She sued the hospital where the hysterectomy had taken place, and in 2009 she won $2.5 million in damages. But the award has been appealed, and her life has been in tatters. Suffering from severe bowel issues and unable to work, Ms. Savage, 59, has been racked by anxiety and depression. Most days, she said, she cannot bring herself to leave home. “I never dreamed something like this would happen to me,” she said.
Every year, an estimated 4,000 cases of “retained surgical items,” as they are known in the medical world, are reported in the United States. These are items left in the patient’s body after surgery, and the vast majority are gauzelike sponges used to soak up blood. During a long operation, doctors may stuff dozens of them inside a patient to control bleeding. Though no two cases are the same, the core of the problem, experts say, is that surgical teams rely on an old-fashioned method to avoid leaving sponges in patients. In most operating rooms, a nurse keeps a manual count of the sponges a surgeon uses in a procedure. But in that busy and sometimes chaotic environment, miscounts occur, and every so often a sponge ends up on the wrong side of the stitches.
In recent years, new technology and sponge-counting methods have made it easier to remedy the problem. But many hospitals have resisted, despite the fact that groups like the Association of Operating Room Nurses and the American College of Surgeons have called on hospitals to update their practices.

All sorts of tools are mistakenly left in patients: clamps, scalpels, even scissors on occasion. But sponges account for about two-thirds of all retained items.
When balled up, soaked in blood and tucked inside a patient, a 4-by-4-inch cotton sponge is easy to miss, especially inside large cavities. Abdominal operations are most frequently associated with retained sponges, and surgeons are more likely to leave items in overweight patients.
Hospitals traditionally require that members of a surgical team, usually a nurse, count — and then recount, multiple times — every sponge used in a procedure. But studies show that in four out of five cases in which sponges are left behind, the operating room team has declared all sponges accounted for.

Electronic tracking can be a safety net when manual counting fails. Yet nationwide, fewer than 1 percent of hospitals employ it, said Dr. Berto Lopez, an obstetrician-gynecologist and the chief of the safety committee at West Palm Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. Dr. Lopez became an advocate for electronic tracking after he was sued in 2009 for leaving a sponge inside a patient — an error that occurred, he said, after two nurses assured him that all sponges had been accounted for. He now refuses to operate in any hospital that does not use electronic tracking. “When something bad happens to you, you get religion,” he said. “I’ve been rampaging ever since this happened. You study the subject, and you realize that this happens to a lot of people.” (…)

(US) operating room = (BrE) operating theatre
O.R. – (abbreviation) operating room

sala de operaciones
surgical mask
surgical instruments
surgical drape
surgical dressing
instrumental quirúrgico
sábanas estériles
Surgical shock
(US) rubbing alcohol = (BrE) surgical spirit
choque quirúrgico/operatorio
alcohol de 96°
To be in tatters - damaged beyond repair, completely spoiled
Ms. Savage’s life has been in tatters.
After the newspaper story appeared doctor’s reputation was in tatters.

To rack - to cause physical or mental pain, or trouble, to someone or something
Ms. Savage’s been racked by anxiety and depression.
Even at the end, when cancer racked his body, he was calm and cheerful.

Not bring yourself to do something - to not be able to force yourself to do something that you think is unpleasant
Ms. Savage cannot bring herself to leave home
I just couldn't bring myself to speak to him about it.

To get religion - (US) to start doing something in a serious and c areful way
“When something bad happens to you, you get religion”, Dr. Lopez siad. “I’ve been rampaging ever since this happened”.
I get religion each time I do my income tax.

Safety net - a system to help those who have serious problems and no other form of help
Electronic tracking can be a safety net when manual counting fails.
The welfare state was set up to provide a safety net for the poor and needy.

The suffix “-LIKE” is used to form adjectives. It means something resembling (similar to) or characteristic of something else. It might be hyphenated or form one word.

Have a look at these examples:
-These are items left in the patient’s body after surgery, and the vast majority are gauzelike sponges used to soak up blood.
-The paper criticized what it described as the animal-like behaviour of the football fans.
-Childlike trust
-Lifelike sculpture
-Ladylike behaviour
-Springlike weather

The word “stitches” in medical English means “surgical suturing”, but the expression “to be in stitches” means to laugh uncontrollably.

He had us all in stitches - Nos tenía muertos de risa
This movie’s hilarious. It’s had me in stitches for over an hour.
91 013 31 68
Accede a contenidos gratuitos a través de
nuestra página de Facebook y Twitter

Sus datos proceden de bases de datos propiedad de SmartEducation, de asistentes a nuestros cursos, contactos informativos o comerciales, y/o de fuentes públicas y serán utilizados para informarle de nuestras actividades. Estos datos han sido obtenidos con su consentimiento en cumplimiento de la Ley Orgánica 15/1999 de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal. Usted podrá ejercer los derechos de acceso, rectificación y cancelación de los mismos mediante el envío de un correo electrónico a

Your personal data were taken from databases property of SmartEducation, participants in our programs, databases obtained from commercial and business contacts and /or public sources and will be used for informing you about SmartEducation activities. If you do not wish to receive future informative communications, send an e-mail to