Intended for healthcare professionals


US conference looks at improving patient safety

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 08 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1233
  1. Norra MacReady
  1. Los Angeles

    Dr Richard Cook, an anaesthetist at the University of Chicago, works daily with the most advanced equipment available. Yet he keeps several syringes nearby, filled either with succinylcholine (suxamethonium chloride) or thiopental (thiopentone). “The world isn't always a perfect place,” he explained. When disaster looms, “you need a path of retreat, a way to back away.” The importance of finding simple alternatives to complex equipment was one of the recommendations Cook made last week at the Southern California Patient Safety forum held in Los Angeles.

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