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A simple checklist prevents deaths after surgery

May 18, 2017

Surgery checklists save lives, a study released in April 2017 found.  An article in the Washington Post explained:

“Safety checklists are not a piece of paper that somehow magically protect patients, but rather they are a tool to help change practice, to foster a specific type of behavior in communication, to change implicit communication to explicit in order to create a culture where speaking up is permitted and encouraged and to create an environment where information is shared between all members of the team,” said Alex Haynes, lead author of the study, who is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and associate director for safe surgery at Ariadne Labs.

The 19-item checklist encourages surgical teams to discuss the surgical plan, risks and concerns. Most of the items are simple, such as “does the patient have a known allergy” or “is essential imaging displayed.” Following surgery, patients are at risk of complications and death from a variety of causes, such as infection and organ failure. The checklist ends with a requirement for a conversation among the surgeon, anesthetist and nurse about the patient’s recovery and management plan. As a whole, the checklist items create an operating room communication culture that improves overall surgical care and safety before, during and after an operation, the researchers say.

If you or a family member was injured during surgery at a military hospital anywhere in the world, please contact our experienced military medical malpractice lawyer for a free, confidential consultation by either calling toll-free at 877-695-8757 (calls are answered 24/7), e-mailing us at LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com, or by filling out the form at the top right side of this page.


To read the full article go to:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/04/18/checklists-appear-to-reduce-deaths-after-surgery-a-large-study-finds

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