Patient safety in the operating theatre

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2021;131: 1-6

Aldona Michalak1,2, Marta Kotomska1,2

1 Chair and Department of General and Transplantation Surgery, Transplantation Institute, Warsaw, Poland
2 Division of Surgical and Transplantation Nursing, and Extracorporeal Treatment, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2021-0001

© 2021 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


In connection with medical services provided, many patients are exposed to harm that may lead to permanent health impairment, hospitalisation, extended hospital stay or even death. Adverse events are reported and are the result of a complex nature of current healthcare systems, in which effective therapy and treatment outcomes of every patient depend on numerous factors, and not only on competencies of individual healthcare professionals.

Individual healthcare professionals can contribute to improving the safety of care by establishing respectful relationships with patients, following procedures, learning from mistakes, and communicating effectively with other members of the therapeutic team. This also decreases costs associated with reduction of harm sustained by patients. Reporting and analysis of errors may help identify major factors that have contributed to their occurrence. In order to consider changes that could prevent errors, at first it is necessary to learn about factors that led to them. An operating theatre is the heart of every hospital. It is where complex and highly specialized surgical procedures are performed in line with state-of-the-art procedures and applicable standards. It is also where employees of various wards meet to perform their crucial tasks that save lives.

Patient’s well-being is a paramount value for a therapeutic team working in the operating theatre. The main goal of surgical nurse is, in turn, to ensure a holistic and individual approach to the patient in accordance with applicable law, procedures and recommendations.

Keywords: patient safety, operating theatre, adverse event.

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