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Volume 23 Supplement 2

London Trauma Conference 2014

  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Could the implementation of a trauma checklist improve quality of care?

Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine201523 (Suppl 2) :A13

  • Published:


  • Human Factor
  • Medical Error
  • Trauma Centre
  • Team Performance
  • Care Provision


Medical error in trauma care remains common [1]. Checklists are a cognitive aid that can be employed to standardise practice and minimise error. Their usage is ubiquitous in other high-intensity professions, such as aviation. Following the success of the World Health Organisation's surgical safety checklist they are now in the process of developing a trauma care checklist. My aim was to evaluate whether a checklist could be applied to the trauma setting to facilitate high quality, standardised care.


  1. 1.

    Audit the prevalence of human factors during trauma calls in a major trauma centre in the UK

  2. 2.

    Literature review of the use of checklists in medicine



  • At least one incidence of negative human factors affecting trauma team performance was observed during each trauma call with the average incidence being three times per resuscitation.

  • Evidence suggests that poor communication is the leading cause of medical error. This was corroborated by my audit findings.

  • A review of literature shows that checklists in are effective tools for standardising care by reducing error and improving compliance with guidelines [2].


It is essential that organisational safety culture is addressed and the subject of human error is acknowledged to improve care provision and enhance patient safety. Checklists represent a promising method of tackling this issue that should be used synergistically with existing management strategies.

Authors’ Affiliations

Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, UK


  1. Cooper DJ, McDermott FT, Cordner SM, Tremayne AB: “Quality assessment of the management of road traffic fatalities at a level I trauma center compared with other hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Consultatitive Committee on Road Traffic Fatalities in Victoria.”. J Trauma. 1998, 45 (4): 772-779. 10.1097/00005373-199810000-00027.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Thomassen O, et al: “The effects of safety checklists in medicine: a systematic review.”. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013, 58 (1): 5-18.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Ashton 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.