Surgical Safety Checklist Reduces Personal Injuries That Occur During Operations | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Worldwide, an estimated 234 million operations are performed yearly including tens of thousands in Virginia (VA), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC) and West Virginia (WV).  Due to the high frequency of operations, millions of personal injuries are sustained by patients who are the victims of negligence, carelessness and medical malpractice. 

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in January of 2009, the use of a surgical safety checklist was studied and found to reduce the large number of personal injuries being suffered by patients during operations and hospitals around the world.  The surgical safety checklist consists of three components.  When the patient is first taken to the operating room, their identity and the type of surgery to be performed are confirmed.  Second, before the first incision is actually made the entire operating room team takes a “time out” to confirm the identity of the patient, the procedure to be performed and whether proper informed consents have been obtained.  Finally, at the end of the procedure, the patient is again identified, the identity of the procedure that has been performed has been documented, and sponge, needle and instruments are counted to make sure that there are no retained objects or retained sponges in the patient before he or she is taken from the operating room.

The use surgical safety checklists was found to reduce the rate of hospital deaths associated with surgery from one 1.5% to .08%.  Likewise, injuries sustained by patients as a result of botched operations was 11% before implementation of the checklist.  The use of the checklist reduced that rate to 7%. 

Experienced medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys/lawyers protecting the rights of injured patients around the world have directly resulted in the medical community devising new and creative ways to avoid inflicting personal injuries on their patients during hospital operations.

Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.  The firm’s website is:, the firm edits two injury law blogs:  Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.