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▶ Haynes AB, Weiser TG, Berry WR, et al. A surgical safety checklist to reduce morbidity and mortality in a global population. N Engl J Med 2009;360:491–9.
▶ Weiser TG, Haynes AB, Dziekan G, et al. Effect of A 19-Item Surgical safety checklist during urgent operations in a global patient population. Ann Surg 2010;251:976–80.
Surgery has become an integral part of global health care, with an estimated 234 million operations performed yearly. Surgical complications are common and often preventable. The authors of these two papers hypothesised that a program to implement a 19-item surgical safety checklist would reduce complications and deaths associated with surgery. The origins of the checklist come, loosely, from the aviation industry where routine safety checks are made prior to and debrief after any flight. In the case of surgery the checks are conducted in the operating theatre prior to and after surgery, and they are similarly designed to improve team communication and consistency of care. The initial study published in 2009 was conducted in non-urgent cases in eight different hospitals around the world (Toronto, Canada; New Delhi, India; Amman, Jordan; Auckland, New Zealand; Manila, Philippines; Ifakara, Tanzania; London, England; and Seattle, WA) These centres representing a variety of economic circumstances and diverse populations of patients participated in the World Health Organisation's Safe Surgery Saves Lives program. The authors …
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