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      A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population

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          Abstract

          New England Journal of Medicine, 360(5), 491-499

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          Most cited references 13

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          The timing of prophylactic administration of antibiotics and the risk of surgical-wound infection.

          Randomized, controlled trials have shown that prophylactic antibiotics are effective in preventing surgical-wound infections. However, it is uncertain how the timing of antibiotic administration affects the risk of surgical-wound infection in actual clinical practice. We prospectively monitored the timing of antibiotic prophylaxis and studied the occurrence of surgical-wound infections in 2847 patients undergoing elective clean or "clean-contaminated" surgical procedures at a large community hospital. The administration of antibiotics 2 to 24 hours before the surgical incision was defined as early; that during the 2 hours before the incision, as preoperative; that during the 3 hours after the incision, as perioperative; and that more than 3 but less than 24 hours after the incision, as postoperative. Of the 1708 patients who received the prophylactic antibiotics preoperatively, 10 (0.6 percent) subsequently had surgical-wound infections. Of the 282 patients who received the antibiotics perioperatively, 4 (1.4 percent) had such infections (P = 0.12; relative risk as compared with the preoperatively treated group, 2.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.9 to 7.9). Of 488 patients who received the antibiotics postoperatively, 16 (3.3 percent) had wound infections (P less than 0.0001; relative risk, 5.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.6 to 12.3). Finally, of 369 patients who had antibiotics administered early, 14 (3.8 percent) had wound infections (P less than 0.0001; relative risk, 6.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.9 to 14.7). Stepwise logistic-regression analysis confirmed that the administration of antibiotics in the preoperative period was associated with the lowest risk of surgical-wound infection. We conclude that in surgical practice there is considerable variation in the timing of prophylactic administration of antibiotics and that administration in the two hours before surgery reduces the risk of wound infection.
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            The incidence and nature of surgical adverse events in Colorado and Utah in 1992.

            Despite more than three decades of research on iatrogenesis, surgical adverse events have not been subjected to detailed study to identify their characteristics. This information could be invaluable, however, for guiding quality assurance and research efforts aimed at reducing the occurrence of surgical adverse events. Thus we conducted a retrospective chart review of 15,000 randomly selected admissions to Colorado and Utah hospitals during 1992 to identify and analyze these events. We selected a representative sample of hospitals from Utah and Colorado and then randomly sampled 15,000 nonpsychiatric discharges from 1992. With use of a 2-stage record-review process modeled on previous adverse event studies, we estimated the incidence, morbidity, and preventability of surgical adverse events that caused death, disability at the time of discharge, or prolonged hospital stay. We characterized their distribution by type of injury and by physician specialty and determined incidence rates by procedure. Adverse events were no more likely in surgical care than in nonsurgical care. Nonetheless, 66% of all adverse events were surgical, and the annual incidence among hospitalized patients who underwent an operation or child delivery was 3.0% (confidence interval 2.7% to 3.4%). Among surgical adverse events 54% (confidence interval 48.9% to 58.9%) were preventable. We identified 12 common operations with significantly elevated adverse event incidence rates that ranged from 4.4% for hysterectomy (confidence interval 2.9% to 6.8%) to 18.9% for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (confidence interval 8.3% to 37.5%). Eight operations also carried a significantly higher risk of a preventable adverse event: lower extremity bypass graft (11.0%), abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (8.1%), colon resection (5.9%), coronary artery bypass graft/cardiac valve surgery (4.7%), transurethral resection of the prostate or of a bladder tumor (3.9%), cholecystectomy (3.0%), hysterectomy (2.8%), and appendectomy (1.5%). Among all surgical adverse events, 5.6% (confidence interval 3.7% to 8.3%) resulted in death, accounting for 12.2% (confidence interval 6.9% to 21.4%) of all hospital deaths in Utah and Colorado. Technique-related complications, wound infections, and postoperative bleeding produced nearly half of all surgical adverse events. These findings provide direction for research to identify the causes of surgical adverse events and for targeted quality improvement efforts.
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              Adverse events in surgical patients in Australia.

              To determine the adverse event (AE) rate for surgical patients in Australia. A two-stage retrospective medical record review was conducted to determine the occurrence of AEs in hospital admissions. Medical records were screened for 18 criteria and positive records were reviewed by two medical officers using a structured questionnaire. Admissions in 1992 to 28 randomly selected hospitals in Australia. Five hundred and twenty eligible admissions were randomly selected from in-patient database in each hospital. A total of 14,179 medical records were reviewed, with 8747 medical and 5432 surgical admissions. Measures included the rate of AEs in surgical and medical admissions, the proportion resulting in permanent disability and death, the proportion determined to be highly preventable, and the identification of risk factors associated with AEs. The AE rate for surgical admissions was 21.9%. Disability that was resolved within 12 months occurred in 83%, 13% had permanent disability, and 4% resulted in death. Reviewers found that 48% of AEs were highly preventable. The risk of an AE depended on the procedure and increased with age and length of stay. The high AE rate for surgical procedures supports the need for monitoring and intervention strategies. The 18 screening criteria provide a tool to identify admissions with a greater risk of a surgical AE. Risk factors for an AE were age and procedure, and these should be assessed prior to surgery. Prophylactic interventions for infection and deep vein thrombosis could reduce the occurrence of AEs in hospitals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                2009
                29 January 2009
                17 May 2019
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMSA0810119
                19144931

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