Surgical safety checklist dramatically cuts death risk, complications

January 15th, 2009 - 3:25 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 15 (ANI): A new study by an Indian origin researcher has found that using a simple surgical checklist during major operations can reduce the incidence of deaths and complications by more than a third.

The study led by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization showed that maintaining a checklist lowered the rate of complications fell from 11 percent in the baseline period to seven percent.

Moreover, the inpatient deaths following major operations fell by more than 40 percent from 1.5 to 0.8 percent with implementation of the checklist.

“The results are startling,” the New England Journal of Medicine quoted lead researcher Atul Gawande as saying.

“They indicate that gaps in teamwork and safety practices in surgery are substantial in countries both rich and poor.

With the annual global volume of surgery now exceeding even the volume of childbirth, the use of the WHO checklist could reduce deaths and disabilities by millions.

There should be no time wasted in introducing these checklists to help surgical teams do their best work to save lives, he added.

“The checklist had a visible impact in every site in the study,” added Alex Haynes, MD, a research fellow at HSPH and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the article’’s lead author.

“Even many clinicians who were initially skeptical of the idea became advocates once they saw the benefits to safety and consistency of care,” he added. (ANI)

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