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Using checklist reduces surgery complications

WHO guidelines map everything from patient identity to post-operation inventory of sponges

5:00pm, January 14, 2009

By reading through a list of procedures aloud and checking them off before and after an operation, hospital surgical teams reduce patient complications by more than one-third, a new study finds. In low-income countries, using the checklist also seems to halve in-hospital deaths due to these complications, an international group of scientists reports in a study published online January 14 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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