SOURCE: Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline, Hand Hygiene, Sterillium, Hospital Acquired Infections, H1N1, MRSA, Infection Control

January 12, 2010 13:07 ET

Improving Patient Safety -- New DASH Absorbent Retractor Reduces Trauma at Surgical Site, Minimizes Risk of Retained Foreign Objects

Medline to Offer DASH™; Exclusive North American Distributor

MUNDELEIN, IL--(Marketwire - January 12, 2010) - The risk of retaining a foreign object during surgery is well documented. Efforts to reduce its incidence may include the use of fewer laparotomy pads. Now there is a clinically proven device that is designed to improve surgical outcomes -- The DASH™ (Disposable Absorbent Secure Hold) formable absorbent retractor, addresses the challenges of unintentional soft tissue trauma and retained foreign objects after surgery, enhancing patient safety.

DASH had been sold by EZ Surgical but Medline signed an agreement to take over production and sell DASH exclusively in North America. The DASH retractor has been clinically evaluated in over 180 cases in a number of major medical centers. In more than 90% of the cases, surgeons felt operating room time was saved, there was less trauma to the small bowel and surrounding tissues, and fewer lap sponges were required per procedure.(1)

To gain better visibility and hold obstructive tissue out of the way during surgery, surgeons traditionally insert a blade speculum or metal retractor. Rigid metal retractors, however, can cause further trauma, compression or injury to the abundant network of vessels and nerves in the surrounding delicate soft tissue.

The DASH has a unique design of stainless steel, formable mesh surrounded with a silastic coating and multiple, integrated layers of absorbent padding that conforms to and maintains any shape a surgeon requires. From its original flat state, it can be bent into any number of shapes and formed by the surgeon to provide atraumatic soft tissue retraction in different shapes and sizes and in different surgical procedures. It is available in multiple sizes and resiliencies and may be used alongside other retractor systems.

Unlike traditional retraction methods where surgeons may place dozens of sponges inside the patient to absorb fluids, the DASH retractor, because of its absorbent outer covering, enables surgeons to insert fewer lap pads into the body cavity, leaving fewer lap pads to count intraoperatively and fewer to accidentally leave behind. The DASH approach represents a reduction in root cause of postoperatively retained foreign bodies and therefore reduces the potential for patient harm and institutional expense and litigation. It has been hypothesized that the reduction in procedure time with the use of the DASH retractor, patients also benefit from reduced time under anesthesia.(1)

About Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Meeting the highest level of national and international quality standards, Medline is FDA QSR compliant and ISO certified 13485:2003. Medline serves on major industry quality committees to develop guidelines and standards for medical product use, including the FDA Midwest Steering Committee, AAMI Sterilization and Packaging Committee and various ASTM committees. For more information on Medline, visit our Web site,

(1) An Incremental Step in Patient Safety: Reducing the Risks of Retained Foreign Bodies by the Use of an Integrated Laparotomy Pad/Retractor. Available at

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