Table of Contents
Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2011, Article ID 579579, 5 pages
Research Article

WHO Surgical Checklist and Its Practical Application in Plastic Surgery

Department of Plastic Surgery, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, City Hospital Campus, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK

Received 13 August 2010; Revised 21 December 2010; Accepted 13 January 2011

Academic Editor: Lee L. Q. Pu

Copyright © 2011 Shady Abdel-Rehim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The WHO surgical checklist was introduced to most UK surgical units following the WHO “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” initiative. The aim of this audit was to review patient's safety in the delivery of surgical care and to evaluate the practical application of the new WHO surgical checklist. We conducted a retrospective audit of patients who received operative treatment under general anaesthesia at our Plastic Surgery Department, involving a total number of 90 patients. The WHO form was compared to its former equivalents. Complications or incidents occurring during or after surgery were recorded. Using the department's previous surgical checklist, “Time out” was only performed in only 30% of cases. One patient arrived at theatre reception without a completed consent form, and two clinical incidents were reported without patients suffering harm. Following introduction of current WHO surgical checklist, “Time out” was recorded in 80% of cases. In all cases, the new WHO surgical checklist was used and no incidents were reported. The WHO surgical checklist provides a structured frame work that standardizes the delivery of care across hospitals and specialized units; however, it will take some time and practice for teams to learn to use the checklist effectively and reliably.