Use of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist by Nigerian anesthetists

  • John Olutola Olatosi
  • Nneka Chinedu Anaegbu
  • Adeniyi Adesida
Keywords: Acceptance, anesthetist, checklist, safety, surgical


Background: Surgery and anesthesia are essential parts of global healthcare. Surgical intervention has been largely beneficial but remains associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The increasing complexity of surgical interventions has made providers more prone to avoidable errors. The World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist (WHO SSC) was disseminated worldwide with the aim of reducing perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Objective: There is a paucity of data to assess awareness and use of WHO SSC in low‑ and middle‑income countries. The aim of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and use of WHO SSC by Nigerian anesthetists.

Methodology: A structured self‑reporting questionnaire was distributed to Nigerian physician anesthetists. One hundred and twenty‑two questionnaires were distributed with 102 completed reflecting a response rate of 83.6%.

Results: Awareness of the WHO SSC was reported by 93.1% of the respondents. Routine use of the checklist was reported by 62.7% of the respondents mostly in the teaching hospitals compared with the general hospitals and comprehensive health centers (86.2%, 23.3% and 14.3%, P = 0.0001). The respondents who had a perception that WHO SSC does not prevent errors were the least likely to use it (odds ratio: 0.08, P = 0.0117).

Conclusion: This study identified a high level of awareness and use of the WHO SSC by physician anesthetists in Nigeria. However, its use is mostly use of The WHO SSC list by Nigerian anesthetists in teaching hospitals.

Keywords: Acceptance, anesthetist, checklist, safety, surgical