Woman’s Hospital Expands Patient Safety Technology to Labor & Delivery

April 18, 2022

Radiofrequency-enabled sponges, gauze and towels enhance patient safety

BATON ROUGE, La. – Woman’s has expanded its use of Medtronic Situate scanning devices to all Labor & Delivery rooms – the first in the area to utilize this safety measure for all patients delivering at the hospital. Woman’s was also the first in Baton Rouge to use the technology in its operating rooms as an added layer of protection from retained surgical items (RSIs).

Medtronic’s Situate disposable cotton sponges, gauze and towels are embedded with a tiny radiofrequency tag that can be detected before a procedure is complete with a wand using low-frequency, non-ionizing radio waves. If any items are left in the body, it will transmit a signal back to the device, alerting staff of the item’s exact location and allowing it to be immediately retrieved. 

“Woman’s is committed to enhancing patient safety and we are constantly working to create positive outcomes for all patients,” said Amye Reeves, director of obstetrical services at Woman’s Hospital. “Expanding this technology is yet another example of our commitment to providing quality care and enhancing our safety standards for all vaginal deliveries.”

Standard surgical procedure nationwide involves manually counting and recording all cotton disposables going into and coming out of a patient. Though it is rare for gauze, sponges or towels to be left in the body after surgery or a delivery, mistakes can occur and result in severe medical complications such as infections, adhesions and obstructions. Sponges that are used to soak up blood and other fluids are the most common objects that are left behind. Furthermore, additional surgery is required to retrieve an RSI.

Earlier this year, Woman’s was named a World’s Best Hospital by Newsweek for gynecology and maternity care, and also received a Birth Ready+ designation from the Louisiana Department of Health for our efforts in promoting safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana.

For more information about the Medtronic Situate technology, visit medtronicsolutions.medtronic.com/situate.