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Table 1 Symptoms and differential diagnosis of inadvertently retained sponges and instruments

From: Endoscopic removal of a retained surgical sponge in a young Syrian refugee after Caesarean section: a case report with discussion of cultural and political consequences

Symptoms Clinical appearance of inadvertently retained sponges and instruments Differential diagnosis
Infection Infection at the surgical site with fever, pain and sepsis Wound infection of other origin, pneumonia, infection of the catheter, urinary tract infection
Acute pain Acute pain, becoming more extensive, often accompanied by fever and infection Wound pain, postoperative hemorrhage
Chronic pain Chronic pain persisting after the intervention without any other correlate Adhesions, nerve damage
Tumor Unspecific tumor mass around the surgical site Coagulum, tumor of other origin, adhesions
Fistulization Fistulization with suspected material of no natural origin Fistulization because of disturbed wound healing, infection, or fistulization due to other causes
Obstruction Obstruction because of fistulization or swelling of the retained object Tumor of other origin, adhesions
Hemorrhage Gastrointestinal, vaginal, or urinary hemorrhage because of fistulization Ulcer, tumor