W.H.O. Safe Surgery Saves Lives Checklist
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. As well as publishing hand hygiene guidelines the WHO recently published the "Surgical Safety" checklist trial.
Published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 it was a multicenter trial which demonstrated a decrease in mortality from 1.5% to 0.8% (p=0.003) after the introduction of a pre-op checklist.
As part of that checklist, it is recommended that prophylactic antibiotics be given surgical incision. Interestingly, in the study, the authors also note a drop in surgical site infection rates from 6.2% to 3.4% (p<0.001)
The W.H.O. have become involved and developed the checklist for one main reason: The W.H.O. recognise that in surgery, mistakes can be made. The Checklist is there to minimise the chances of these mistakes happening. It makes sure what should be done is done.