Surgery checklists could save lives, study reveals

By Tom Blackwell, National Post

Airline pilots have used them for years as a proven method to make flying less dangerous. Now there is evidence that surgical staff can dramatically curb the amount of harm they inadvertently do to patients simply by working through checklists before, during and after operations.

Employing a standard checklist slashes the number of serious complications and deaths from surgery by more than a third, an international study published Wednesday by hospitals in Toronto and seven other cities concluded.

The concept could have a huge impact if incorporated into all two million operations performed yearly in Canadian hospitals, experts said Wednesday.

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