10 facts on safe surgery
25 June 2008
Surgical care and its safe delivery affect the lives of millions of people. About 234 million major operations are performed worldwide every year.
The change in disease patterns worldwide is increasing the need for surgical services considerably. Epidemics and infections are giving way as leading causes of death to ischemic heart diseases, cancers, and trauma - which need surgical interventions.
Ensuring better access to surgical care and its safe delivery is crucial for its effectiveness. The available evidence suggests that as many as half of the complications and deaths arising from surgery could be avoided if certain basic standards of care were followed.
WHO is taking steps to address these issues through:
- the Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care;
- its guidelines for essential trauma care; and
- the Second Global Patient Safety Challenge initiative.