Figure 3-23. Circulator passing supplies to the scrub.
b. The scrub will count the sponges with the circulating RN at the first
opportunity. An RN must witness the count. A sponge count is necessary for surgical
procedures when the depth or the location of the wound may allow a sponge to be left
undetected in the wound. Such procedures include laparotomies (operations within the
abdominal cavity), surgical procedures within the chest cavity, extra peritoneal
operations such as kidney surgery, deep vaginal procedures, and operations on the hip
and others. Points to be remembered and observed by both the scrub and the circulator
during the sponge count are given below.
NOTE: Only radiopaque (X-ray detectable) sponges are to be used during surgery.
Since the prep sponges are not radiopaque, they are to be used only for the prep. Prep
sponges are not to be removed from the room. The circulator will put them in a place
apart from the sponges that are counted.
(1) Counted sponges are grouped according to type and then counted.
Neither sponges, nor linen, nor trash may be removed from the room once the sponges
have been counted.
(2) There should be no interruptions during the count. If either the scrub
or the circulator loses count, they are to recount.