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January 2009

Surgical Safety Checklist Saves Lives Across the Globe

16444899 Eight hospitals in eight different countries participated in the World Health Organization's Safe Surgery Saves Lives Program and found they cut the risk of dying from surgery almost in half. 

Using a checklist that contained nineteen items, including whether the patient has any known allergies, whether the surgical site is marked (if applicable) and whether relevant, post-surgical needle, sponge and instrument counts are complete, mortality from non-cardiac surgery dropped from 1.5% to 0.8% and other complications dropped from 11% to 7%.

More details are available in the complete study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 14, 2009.

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