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Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

Safe Surgery Saves Lives - Endorse WHO's Checklist

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 234 million major surgical procedures are performed around the world each year. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist was created to help operating teams reduce poor incidence of poor surgical outcomes. By following a few critical steps, health care professionals can minimize the most common and avoidable risks endangering the lives and well-being of surgical patients.

200 surgery, anesthesia, nursing, and patient societies endorsed the introduction of safety checklists in surgery and three countries, United Kingdom, Jordan and Ireland, pledged to introduce this in all their hospitals.

The checklist includes:

            • All masked members of the surgical team identify themselves, their roles and ask simple questions like "Does everyone agree this is Patient X and we are doing Procedure Y?"
            • Mark the correct site for surgery on the patient's body
            • check for drug allergies
            • count all sponges, needles and instruments going into and out of the body
            • give an antibiotic 60 minutes prior to making an incision

Other things patients in hospitals can do to insure their own safety:
  • insist everyone who interacts with you identify themselves and wash their hands and stethoscopes or any other equipment before contacting you
  • If someone is wearing a tie, do not allow it to have contact with your person. Insist that is be tucked into their lab coat.
With the emergence of superbugs in hospitals, it pays to be defensive.
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