Intravascular retained surgical items: A multicenter study of risk factors

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Surgical Research


Introduction: Retained surgical items (RSIs) have been previously studied in patients undergoing major surgical procedures. This is the first study that specifically examines potential risk factors for intravascular RSI (ivRSI). Methods: Multicenter retrospective review of 83 RSIs was performed. Among these, 13 cases involved ivRSI. Cases in the ivRSI group were compared with a group of similar control cases to determine potential risk factors for ivRSI, including procedural factors (urgency and complicating factors), patient factors (body mass index), equipment failure (structural or functional), and safety variances. Fisher's exact testing was performed. Results: Thirteen ivRSI cases and 14 controls were examined. There were no differences between the two groups with regard to age, gender, or body mass index. ivRSI items included guide wires (8/13), catheter/catheter fragments (4/13), and a coil (1/13). The incidence of unexpected procedural factors was significantly higher among ivRSI cases (10/13) than among controls (3/14) (P < 0.007). Equipment failure occurred in five ivRSI cases, with none among controls (P < 0.016). There were no differences between the two groups with regard to number of urgent procedures, bleeding >500 mL, evening procedures, or trainee involvement. Both groups had a very high proportion of safety variances (8 in ivRSI and 11 in control group, P = not significant). In addition, seven of 13 ivRSIs were missed on initial confirmatory postprocedural imaging. Discussion: Unexpected procedural factors and equipment failure are significantly associated with ivRSI. Of concern, over half of all ivRSIs were missed on confirmatory postprocedural imaging. Strict adherence to established protocols and stringent radiographic review for intravascular procedures is required to prevent ivRSI. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.