Intended for healthcare professionals


WHO surgical safety checklist cuts post-surgical deaths by 22%, US study finds

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 21 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1935
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

Hospitals that completed a quality improvement programme designed to implement the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist saw a 22% lower 30 day post-surgery mortality than hospitals that did not complete the programme, a US study has found.1

The WHO checklist requires surgical teams to take such steps as confirming the patient’s identity, scheduled procedure, and surgical site at the outset; reviewing the procedure’s risks before incision; and completing instrument and sponge counts and discussing postoperative care before the patient leaves the operating room.23

In several research trials the checklist was …

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