To the Editor: The World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist (Checklist) has recently been editorialised by Merry and Barraclough.1 We are all keen to see perioperative mortality and morbidity reduced to a minimum, and one cannot disagree with the intent of the Checklist, which was tested in a pilot study2 involving almost 8000 patients in eight hospitals (in disparate developed and developing countries). The study showed a reduction in the death rate associated with surgery from 1.5% to 0.8% (or 15 per 1000 down to eight per 1000). Impressive indeed!
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