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Chirurg. 2010 May;81(5):480-4. doi: 10.1007/s00104-010-1887-5.

[Intraoperative consulting. An easy addition to the surgical safety checklist for perioperative quality assurance].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie, Asklepios Krankenhaus Hamburg Altona, Hamburg.



It has been proven that pre-operative and postoperative surgical safety checklists designed to improve team communication and consistency of care are useful tools to improve surgical outcome. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of intra-operative consultation (IOC) with regard to its feasibility. IOC comprises an assessment of definite pathways in the operative procedure by another surgeon present in the operating theatre in a consultative capacity during specific steps of the operation.


Between January and December 2008 a total of 2,004 operations were evaluated according the IOC. Data on the frequency of the feasibility of IOC and on whether IOC led to decisions influencing the course of the procedure were analyzed.


A total of 1,369 IOCs were carried out including regular IOC in 1,102 cases (80%) and tactical IOC in 267 cases (20%). In 90 cases (7%) consultation resulted in minor changes and in 100 cases (7%) major clinically relevant revision of the operative strategy was deemed necessary.


It was found that IOC is feasible in the majority of operations. In the case of tactical IOC a large number of treatment-relevant decisions are taken. This means that in the area of operative disciplines IOC represents a potential preventive strategy within the framework of quality management and a useful addition to the WHO checklist to improve safety in surgery.

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