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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Six questions that could save your life

What surgeons should ask before they start cutting...

The BBC reports that operating theatres are being urged to run a checklist.

Making a series of simple checks such as ensuring that the correct patient is on the table and operating on the right part of the body, could help surgical teams save almost half a million lives a year across the world, say experts in the World Health Organization.

As we all know (and remember, as the trolley is being pushed into the operating theatre), patients have died when surgeons have removed the wrong organ, left instruments inside the body, or even operated on the wrong patient.

And so WHO has developed a Surgical Safety Checklist, which is compulsory in some countries, and being taught in others.

So, what are the questions?

1. Are you operating on the right patient?

2. Are you performing the right operation? (And on the right bit of the body?)

3. Do you know that name and job of everyone on the team?

4. Is the anaesthetic machine working properly?

5. Are the patient's oxygen levels being checked?  And, finally:

6. Have you removed all the instruments from the patient?

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