Ask ECRI: Preventing Unintentionally Retained Retraction Cords in Dentistry

September 13, 2017 | Ambulatory Care Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A risk manager recently asked for information about policies and procedures for addressing retained dental retraction cords, also known as gingival retraction cords. The cord is used during dental procedures to move the gums away from teeth. The member also asked for information to assist in conducting root-cause analyses (RCAs) of cases involving retained cords.

In our response, we emphasized that strategies to prevent the unintentional retention of foreign objects apply to all procedures, including those for dentistry. Among the practices that we recommend in our...

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