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The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist

Alan F Merry and Bruce H Barraclough
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (8): 486-487.
Published online: 18 October 2010

In reply: Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Bradley’s letter. We agree that constructive engagement of clinicians is essential in adoption of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist (the Checklist) — that point is clearly made in our editorial.1 Bradley’s anecdotal comment about use of the Checklist causing distraction during the induction of anaesthesia is difficult to evaluate in the absence of more detail. Surely any competent anaesthetist committed to patient safety could liaise with other team members to find an acceptable time to fulfil the entirely reasonable expectation of ensuring that relevant safety checks have been done? Furthermore, the study of Haynes and colleagues2 provides considerable reassurance about the possibility of unintended harm from use of the Checklist.

  • Alan F Merry1
  • Bruce H Barraclough2

  • 1 Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: bbarra@ozemail.com.au

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