Study: Surgical checklist saves lives

December 19, 2011 2:06:50 PM PST
A surgical check list, similar to what pilots do before every flight, can lower patient death rates.

But a report in the Annals of Surgery says that drop is smaller than what past research has found. Still, there was a noticeable decrease.

The study, which was conducted at one hospital, found the results really depended on the surgical team going over the list.

About 100,000 hospitals worldwide now use the safety check list developed by the World Health Organization. It has 19 items to be checked right before and after a procedure. That includes making sure they have the right patient and are operating on the correct side of the body.