Author(s): Haller G, Laroche T, Clergue F
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Abstract Based on results recorded of perioperative mortality, anaesthetic care is often cited as a model for its improvements with regard to patient safety. However, anaesthesia-related morbidity represents a major burden for patients as yet in spite of major progresses in this field since the early 1980s. More than 1 out of 10 patients will have an intraoperative incident and 1 out of 1000 will have an injury such as a dental damage, an accidental dural perforation, a peripheral nerve damage or major pain. Poor preoperative patient evaluation and postoperative care often contribute to complications. Human error and inadequate teamwork are frequently identified as major causes of failures. To further improve anaesthetic care, high-risk technical procedures should be performed after systematic training, and further attention should be focussed on preoperative assessment and post-anaesthetic care. To minimise the impact of human errors, guidelines and standardised procedures should be widely implemented. Deficient teamwork and communication should be addressed through specific programmes that have been demonstrated to be effective in the aviation industry: crew resource management (CRM) and simulation. The impact of the overall safety culture of health-care organisations on anaesthesia should not be minimised, and organisational issues should be systematically addressed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research