Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers One hundred years ago

Count sponges and instruments

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 25 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:840

Abdominal surgery involves special anxieties, and one of the worst is the fear that a forceps, sponge, or other foreign body has been left behind in the peritoneum after closure of the abdominal wound. Dr. Neugebauer of Warsaw has published a monograph on this terrible accident which will not reassure us. He classifies 101 cases, so that many operators are laudably candid, whilst necropsies tell terrible tales. In 38 cases the foreign body was only found at the …

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