When in comes to medical supplies, few are more important than those used in surgical procedures. With the acuity of care involved in many of these cases, it is essential that every piece of technology has been optimized for the preferred surgical conditions of the surgeon. While many people focus on scalpels, lasers, and cameras, laparotomy sponges are an essential yet often overlooked medical supply necessity. These devices are a vital part of keeping the surgical field clear. What are some of the most important qualities to consider when purchasing a laparotomy sponge?
The most important quality in any laparotomy sponge is its ability to absorb blood. This is its primary function, as surgeons need to rely on these sponges to keep the surgical field clear. This is important for both procedural accuracy and patient safety. The average laparotomy sponge will hold around 100 mL of blood. Consider how absorbent the sponge must be when deciding which laparotomy sponge to purchase.
Furthermore, each laparotomy sponge should have an identical weight and should hold a similar amount of blood. This is because surgeons and operating room staff often measure laparotomy sponges to get an accurate measurement of blood loss. Measuring blood loss is a quintessential part of any surgical procedure and weighing laparotomy sponges is important to getting a proper measurement.
Finally, check to see what the laparotomy sponges are made from. When the sponges absorb blood, they often blend in with the surgical field and are impossible to locate. Surgeons will use an X-ray to identify any missing sponges. Ensure the laparotomy sponge will light up on an X-ray to avoid sewing up any surgical sponges inside the patient.
Don’t overlook using a quality laparotomy sponge. Patient safety is at the forefront and using proper equipment from top to bottom is key.