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Electronic Device Tracks Surgical Cases

Ensures operation is done on correct patient

MONDAY, Nov. 22, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an external tracking device designed to minimize the chances of doctors performing the wrong surgery on the wrong person.

The device, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) chip technology to mark the anatomical site for surgery, also contains the patient's name, type of procedure, and name of surgeon. The device adheres to the patient's skin like a band-aid.

Just before the surgery, the chip is scanned and the un-sedated patient is asked to confirm the information, or the data is compared to the patient's chart.

The FDA endorsed the same technology last week as a way to prevent counterfeiting of prescription drugs and monitor the bulk medications as they travel from wholesalers to pharmacies.

To learn more about the technology's use on surgical patients, visit the FDA.

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