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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-114

Implementation and adherence to a speciality-specific checklist for neurosurgery and its influence on patient safety

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Varun Suresh
Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 011, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_419_20

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Background and Aims: Neurosurgery involves a high level of expertise coupled with enduring and long duration of working hours. There is a paucity of published literature about the experience with a speciality-specific checklist in neurosurgery. We conducted a cross-sectional observational study to identify the adherence to various elements of the Modified World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist (WHO SSC) for neurosurgery by the operating room (OR) team. Methods: We implemented an intra-operative Modified WHO SSC consisting of 40 tools for neurosurgery, in 200 consecutive elective cases. Trained anaesthesiologists assumed the role of checklist co-ordinator. The checklist divided the surgery into 5 phases, each corresponding to a specific time-period. The adherence rates to various tools were evaluated and areas where the checklist prompted a corrective measure were analysed. Results: A total of 131 cases undergoing craniotomy and 69 cases undergoing spine surgery were studied. With the 40-point modified SSC applied in 200 cases, we analysed a total of 8000 observations. The modified checklist prompted the OR team to adhere to speciality-specific safety practices about application of compression stockings (9.5%); airway precautions in unstable cervical spine (2.5%); precautions for treatment of raised intracranial pressure (10.5%); and intraoperative neuro-monitoring (5%). Conclusion: The implementation of Modified WHO SSC for Neurosurgery, by a designated checklist co-ordinator, can rectify anaesthetic and surgical facets promptly, without increasing the OR time. The anaesthesiologist as SSC coordinator can effectively implement an intraoperative checklist ensuring excellent participation of operating room team members.

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