The implementation of a surgical safety checklist can minimise post-operative complications, according to a study.
To evaluate the impact of a surgical checklist, the department of gastrointestinal surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital decided to perform a prospective, randomised and controlled trial in the case of 700 consecutive patients undergoing surgery between February 2012 and April 2013, a release said on Tuesday.
“We have found in a prospective randomised study in a gastrointestinal and HPB surgical department that implementation of a checklist reduces post-operative morbidity and mortality,” said Samiran Nundy, study author and emeritus consultant, department of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
“Surgical complications are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and pose a major financial burden on patients and providers. This is especially relevant in a developing country like India where there is lack of resources and over three-fourths of the population pays out of its pocket for health expenses,” he said.
Nundy added: “The implementation of a surgical safety checklist is said to minimise post-operative surgical complications.”
“Therefore, we suggest that strict implementation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) checklist should be made mandatory in India and the developing world,” Nundy said.
“In this prospective randomised controlled study, the implementation of a modified WHO surgical safety checklist was associated with a decrease in mortality and number of complications,” said Neeraj Chaudhary, corresponding study author and clinical assistant, department of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Chaudhary said: “Overall and higher grade complications in the modified WHO checklist group were also lower than the other group in which this checklist was not used.”
“Strict implementation of the checklist should be made mandatory in India and the developing world,” he said.
Over 234 million surgical operations are performed annually worldwide and it has been estimated that at least half of the complications that occur are avoidable.
According to the WHO, while surgical procedures are intended to save lives, unsafe surgical care can cause substantial harm. Given the ubiquity of surgery, this has significant implications.