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Revista Brasileira de Ortopedia

Print version ISSN 0102-3616


MOTTA FILHO, Geraldo da Rocha; SILVA, Lucia de Fatima Neves da; FERRACINI, Antonio Marcos  and  BAHR, Germana Lyra. The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist: knowledge and use by Brazilian orthopedists. Rev. bras. ortop. [online]. 2013, vol.48, n.6, pp.554-562. ISSN 0102-3616.


The research examined Brazilian orthopedists' degree of knowledge of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.


A voluntary survey was conducted among the 3231 orthopedists taking part in the 44th Brazilian Congress of Orthopedics and Traumatology in November 2012, using a questionnaire on the use of WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. A statistical analysis was done upon receipt of 502 completed questionnaires.


Among the 502 orthopedists, 40.8% reported the experience of wrong site or wrong patient surgery and 25.6% of them indicated "miscommunication" as the main cause for the error. 35.5% of the respondents do not mark the surgical site before sending the patient to the operating room and 65.3% reported lack of knowledge of the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist, fully or partially. 72.1% of the orthopedists have never been trained to use this protocol.


Medical errors are more common in the surgical environment and represent a high risk to patient safety. Orthopedic surgery is a high volume specialty with major technical complexity and therefore with increased propensity for errors. Most errors are avoidable through the use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. The study showed that 65.3% of Brazilian orthopedists are unaware of this protocol, despite the efforts of WHO for its disclosure.

Keywords : Patient safety; Medical errors; Surgical procedures; Operative Checklist.

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