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Canada worst for leaving medical instruments inside patients

Christian Fernsby |
Leaving sponges, clamps, needles, probes inside patients after surgery is a possibility, and a new study shows it happens all too often in Canada.

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A new report puts Canada in a bad light in this regard.

The report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) notes that between 2016 and 2018 some 543 medical objects have been left inside patients in Canada. It also seems that the problem is getting worse. The report notes these latest results show a 14 per cent increase over the previous report.

While the report showed Canada fared well compared to some 34 other countries in medical care and results, the number of objects left inside patients was the worst among the 12 countries recording such data, including Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway, which reported on this statistic. Other countries like the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. don’t report on these cases.

It also showed a 14 per cent increase over the previous reporting period five years earlier.

While this indicates a serious problem the study has 57 indicators of health care and in 32 of them, Canada is on par with international health systems.

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