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Surgical Safety Checklist


By Kasper Wennervaldt, MD, Tobias Todsen, MD, PhD, and Jacob Melchiors, MD, PhD


Every year, some 250 million surgical procedures are performed worldwide. While most of these are successful, surgical complications do occur occasionally and are often preventable. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist was introduced for this purpose. The use of a simple bullet-point checklist can reduce mortality and complications from surgical procedures.

A checklist coordinator must confirm that the listed tasks are completed during the three important phases of an operation:


            1) Sign in before induction of anesthesia

            2) Time out before skin incision 

            3) Sign out before the patient leaves the operating room


Surgeons and anesthetists play a crucial part in ensuring that the list is implemented and used routinely on all surgical wards.

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