Surgical checklists are in use as means to reduce errors. Checklists are infrequently applied during emergency situations in surgery. We aimed to study the effect of a simple self-administered performance-based checklist on the laparoscopic task when applied during an emergency-simulated scenario. The aviation checklist for unexpected situations is commonly used for simulated training of pilots to handle emergency during flights. This checklist was adopted for use as a standardised-performance-based checklist during emergency surgical tasks. Thirty consented laparoscopic novices were exposed unexpectedly to a bleeding vessel in a laparoscopic virtual reality simulator as an emergency scenario. The task consisted of using laparoscopic clips to achieve haemostasis. Subjects were randomly allocated into two equal groups; those using the checklist that was applied once every 20 s (checklist group) and those without (control group). The checklist group performed significantly better in 5 out of 7 technical factors when compared to the control group: right instrument path length (m), median (IQR) 1.44 [1.22] versus 2.06 [1.70] (p = 0.029), right instrument angular path (degree) 312.10 (269.44 versus 541.80 [455.16] (p = 0.014), left instrument path length (m) 1.20 [0.60] versus 2.08 [2.02] (p = 0.004), and left instrument angular path (degree) 277.62 [132.11] versus 385.88 [428.42] (p = 0.017). The checklist group committed significantly fewer number of errors in the application of haemostatic clips, 3 versus 28 (p = 0.006). Although statistically not significant, total blood loss (lit) decreased in the checklist group from 0.83 [1.23] to 0.78 [0.28] (p = 0.724) and total time (sec) from 186.51 [145.69] to 125.14 [101.46] (p = 0.165). The performance-based intra-procedural checklist significantly enhanced the surgical task performance of novices in an emergency-simulated scenario.
- Task performance