Retained foreign bodies: Vigilance is the price of safety
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Intra-operative events of retained surgical item (RSI), although uncommon, may occur which may result in significant complications. RSI refers specifically to the surgical material (tools, supplies and equipment) used by surgical providers to heal, but when inadvertently left in patients, can cause harm. Two such cases happened recently where retained items were discovered accidently and the proactive role of the anaesthesiologist averted a serious misadventure, proving eternal vigilance is the price of safety. In first case, post-tonsillectomy, post-extubation, our patient had inspiratory stridor. Laryngoscopy was carried out to look for the cause and a broken 22G hypodermic needle was accidently discovered while mopping the oral cavity with a gauze piece. On confirmation, it was found not to be a part of the instruments used during the surgery. Few days later, post-tonsillectomy again, while extubating, a 10-year-old child, an object, seemingly to be a blood clot or a tissue piece, was discovered inside the oral cavity. It was found to be the rubber sleeve (soiled with blood) of the teeth protector of Boyles Davis mouth retractor used during surgery. It probably had slipped off in the oral cavity while taking the retractor out...

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