The European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) launched a safety
starter kit containing a wide variety of essential resources to help
raise safety standards in anaesthesiology across Europe. The kit was
distributed on a memory stick at this year’s Euroanaesthesia 2013
congress in Barcelona, Spain (1-4 June). The kit took three years
to assemble, and was put together following the landmark 2010 Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety,
a statement of EBA (European Board of Anaesthesiologists, section of
UEMS) and ESA targeting the many factors that contribute to patient
safety before, during, and after surgery.
“We didn’t want the Helsinki Declaration to be something that had
bold aims but didn’t accomplish much,” says Dr. Sven Staender, Chairman
of EBA’s/ESA’s Task Force For Patient Safety.
“We’ve spent three years working with a range of experts both within
the ESA and across our member countries’ national associations to
produce these essential materials to guide good practice and improve
safety in our specialty.”
The Helsinki Declaration states that steps must be taken to address the numerous human and technical factors that can affect patient safety, including drug and syringe labelling, checking equipment, difficult or failed intubation, bleeding, infections, and anaesthetic toxicity. It also requires anaesthesiology departments to collect data in order to produce annual reports on patient safety, so that improvement in safety practice can be tracked and exchange in knowledge be accomplished. The declaration currently has 297 signatories from across Europe, including ESA National Society members, individual hospital anaesthesiology departments and anaesthesiologists as well as supporting industrial companies.
- To cater for the multiple aims of the Helsinki Declaration, the safety starter kit contains the following:
- Selected Articles of the publication “Safety in Anaesthesia” (Best Practice and Research Clinical Anaesthesiology)
- The book on Patient safety by internationally recognised expert Charles Vincent
- A proposed template for an anaesthesia departmental safety report
- The text of the original Helsinki Declaration
- Hazard warnings published in countries that alert anaesthesiologists to important adverse events (examples provided from the UK, Germany and Switzerland).
- Powerpoint presentations plus audio podcasts of essential aspects of patient safety. Topics covered include e.g. human limitations in the operating room, and introduction to critical incident reporting
- Powerpoint presentations for basic lectures on patient safety / risk management including topics such as medication error, good communication and team work, simulation, engaging with patients and carers, and understanding clinical risk.
- Checklists for emergency management in the operating room, for situations such as those involving newborns, anaphylaxis, hypertension, hypotension etc.
- The WHO Safe Surgery Checklist
- A list of links to important internet resources
“These tools should help bring the Helsinki Declaration to life,”
adds Staender. “The starter kit is a collection of necessary resources
to help fulfill the aims of the Helsinki declaration and to make it
readily and easily available and useful for anaesthesiologists across
Europe, and indeed Worldwide.”
Of course, many of the practices and tools referred to in the
starter kit may be commonplace in many hospitals in Europe. But ESA
hopes that this starter kit will support hospitals, particularly those
in the continually developing nations of Eastern Europe, that not yet
have the standards of the Helsinki Declaration fully established.
Following the Euroanaesthesia congress, the ESA will publish the
kit in a dedicated section of its website (www.esahq.org), and will also
begin work on implementation of the Helsinki Declaration on a national
level. Dr. Staender will remain in his role as Chairman to see the
project through the next three years. “This must be done in a joint
venture with the European Board of Anaesthesiology, with the National
Anaesthesiologists Societies Committee of ESA and the individual
national societies themselves,“ he says. “We will be working on a
national or even departmental accreditation process that shall
demonstrate the adherence to the principle of the Helsinki Declaration.“
Source: European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA)