We are back on the ship this weekend after a very exciting week on the road with our WHO Checklist team! The team shown above (and also joined by Consultant Anaesthetist and program leader Michelle White) all bundled into a jeep and headed north up the coast to Fenerive Est. This is the first of the 20 regional referral hospitals we will be visiting during this field service, coming alongside the surgical teams in each city and working together to improve patient safety throughout the country.
We were joined by surgeons, anaesthetists, and members of the whole theatre team for the 3 day course during which time the hospital team worked energetically to adapt the World Health Organisation’s ‘Surgical Safety Checklist’ for use in their own environment. This simple but effective tool has been shown to cut operating room deaths and serious complications by nearly a half! The Fenerive Est team were so enthusiastic that by the second morning they were already using their own version of the checklist for the emergency cases which needed to be done that day.
Our course coordinator Ali Herbert ran a very popular training session on surgical instruments and swab counting – another essential step in the WHO checklist to avoid the complications caused by swabs being accidentally left inside a patient and causing infection. We also had the privilege of delivering 2 new pulse oximeters to the hospital with training for the anaesthetic staff through our partnership with ‘Lifebox’, a charity committed to making sure every operating room across the word has this critical piece of equipment to monitor blood oxygen levels during and after surgery.
Tomorrow morning we will be heading out for a 400km drive to our second regional hospital, I better get packing!