College of Surgeons issues patient safety statements

August 18, 2005

The Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons has approved two statements intended to augment current efforts to safeguard patients during surgical procedures.

The Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons has approved two statements intended to augment current efforts to safeguard patients during surgical procedures. The first, Statement on Prevention of Retained Foreign Bodies after Surgery, urges individual hospitals and health care organizations to take all measures to prevent the retention of foreign bodies in the surgical wound. The ACS provides guidelines for preventing such occurrences, including good communication among perioperative personnel and consistent application of reliable processes of care.

The second, Statement on Blunt Suture Needles, addresses the need for methods of reducing the rate of cuts and needle-stick injuries, which occur in approximately 1% to 15% of all operations. The ACS believes that blunt suture needles should be available in various sizes and with a range of suture adequate for different surgical applications.