NoThing Left Behind®: A National Surgical Patient-Safety Project to Prevent Retained Surgical Items

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A Native of New Jersey and a third generation physician, Dr. Gibbs moved to San Francisco in 1979 after completion of her BA degree from Harvard University and her MD degree from Duke University Medical School. She completed her residency in General Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1984 and continued her clinical training in renal transplantation with a fellowship at the California-Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Under the auspices of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program she did a molecular biology fellowship at Genentech Inc., South San Francisco which she completed in 1989. She then joined the faculty in the Department of Surgery at UCSF where she is currently a Professor in Clinical Surgery. Her first clinical assignment was at the San Francisco General Hospital where she was a General and Trauma surgeon and in 1991 she moved to the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center where her clinical practice has focused in general surgery. From 2002-2004 she was Chief of General, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery at the San Mateo Medical Center.

           In 2000, Dr. Gibbs shifted her 10-year research interest from the molecular interactions of the interferon receptor system to areas in health services, quality improvement and patient safety. She is currently engaged in studies examining issues in surgical patient safety, quality improvement and error analysis. In October 2004 she started this surgical patient safety project. 

 All material on this site represents findings of the author and do not represent official endorsements, opinions,practices or recommendations of UCSF or the Department of Veterans Affairs. 


Gibbs VC and Auerbach AD. The Retained Surgical Sponge in: Making Health Care Safer: A Critical    Analysis of Patient Safety Practices. Shojania KG, Duncan BW, McDonald KM, Wachter RM, editors. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No.43, AHRQ Publication No. 01-E058; July 2001. Full report available at http://archive.ahrq.gov/clinic/ptsafety/chap22.htm

Gibbs VC Did We Forget Something? AHRQ WebM&M Case and Commentary Surgery/Anesthesia September 2003 http://webmm.ahrq.gov/printview.aspx?caseID=27

Gibbs VC, McGrath M and Russell T. NoThing Left Behind: Prevention of Retained Foreign Bodies After Surgery.  ACS Bulletin 90:12-14, 2005 and accompanying Statement http://www.facs.org/fellows_info/statements/st-51.html

Gibbs VC Patient Safety Practices in the Operating Room: Correct-Site Surgery and NoThing Left Behind – Surgical Clinics of North America 85:1307-1319, 2005.

Ponrartana S, Coakley FV, Yeh BM, Breiman RS, Qayyum A, Joe BN, Poder L, Gibbs VC, Roberts JP: Accuracy of Plain Abdominal Radiographs in the Detection of Retained Surgical Needles in the Peritoneal Cavity. Ann Surg 247:8-12, 2007

Gibbs VC, Coakley FD, Reines HD. Preventable Errors in the Operating Room: Retained Foreign Bodies after Surgery. Current Problems Surg 44:281-337, 2007

Gibbs VC Retained Surgical Items and Minimally Invasive Surgery. World J Surgery 35:1532-1539, 2011