, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 8-11
Date: 10 Nov 2009

Briefings, Checklists, Geese, and Surgical Safety

This is an excerpt from the content

The successful landing in the Hudson River by a commercial jetliner after both engines were rendered inoperative by striking a flock of Canada geese commandeered the news cycle worldwide. Two weeks later, a report appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating that the use of a simple surgical safety checklist could decrease mortality and morbidity after surgical procedures in a global population.

These two seemingly unrelated events occurring in January 2009 make clear the differences in regards to safety when medicine in general, and surgery in particular, are compared with commercial aviation. Reports published after the airplane incident, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived, make it clear that the crew members of US Airways followed prescribed procedures and communication techniques as they guided the powerless aircraft to a safe outcome. Though both pilots were highly experienced and though the copilot was flying the airplane when the bird strike occurred, ...