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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-71

Adverse events and patient safety from the surgical perspective

Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Yahaya A Ukwenya
Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9596.143081

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Background: Surgeons practicing in emerging nations like Nigeria which are still struggling to cope with institutionalized approach to patient safety and quality health care have a critical role in ensuring the safety of their patients. This article aims to provide an overview of the surgeon's role in the causation and prevention of surgical adverse events. Patients and Methods: The literature is reviewed using key terms: Surgical adverse events, postoperative morbidity and mortality, surgical safety and error management from Pubmed, Ajol, Google scholar, and Embase data bases. Results: An estimated 3-22% of surgical patients suffer adverse events, half of which may be preventable. Over three-quarters of adverse events are traceable to the operating theater from failures of surgical technique during routine operations. Preventable adverse events are symptomatic of both the surgeon and the health care system fallibility. Conclusion: Minimizing surgical adverse events require integrating safety into all the stages and the processes of surgical care. The surgeon's antidote to adverse events is to deliver quality service and leadership throughout the period of patient care.

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