The BBC report:

“Using a simple surgical checklist during major operations can cut deaths by more than 40% and complications by more than a third, research has shown.”

While the full article “A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population” has been published on the NEJM site.

A few quick observations:

  • It’s not a randomised trial, which could have been very easy to arrange.
  • Not all outcomes in every site are favorable.
  • Significant positive results for ‘any complication’ were seen in only half of the organisations.
  • Pharma sponsored trials are often criticised for not using absolute risk reduction, I note that this trial also avoids that statistic.

Irrespective of the above, brief criticisms, any article that helps highlight simply ways to improve quality of care has to be applauded.

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