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Welcome to the Center for Safety in Global Surgery’s blog

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November 17, 2014

The Center for Safety in Global Surgery (CSGS) was founded with the belief that the delivery of safe surgical care should be an essential health service accessible to all individuals, regardless of location or income level.  The reality, however, is that two billion people lack access to surgery and it is likely that billions more lack access to safe, well-timed and effective surgery. 

Even when surgical care is available in low and middle income countries, safety is a serious problem. Unsafe surgery causes an estimated one million deaths and seven million complications each year.[i]  While high income countries have a death rate of up to 0.8% during inpatient surgical procedures, low and middle income countries have death rates between 5% and 10%.[ii]  In fact, the risk of death while under general anesthesia is as high as one in 150 in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.[iii]  Today, the risk of death while under general anesthesia in high income countries is one in 200,000.  Thus, going into surgery in a resource poor environment means that a person’s risk of anesthesia-related mortality is 100 to 1,000 times higher than if that procedure were performed in a high income country.  This points to significant lack of equitable access to safe anesthesia and safe surgical care.[iv]

Operation Smile and CSGS are committed increasing access to essential surgical care.  This increase in the quantity of surgical procedures must also be accompanied by an increase in the safety of surgical care and resource limited environments.  In the pursuit of equitably increasing access to surgery, the concepts of quantity and quality are inextricably intertwined.  Access can only be equitable if a person has the ability to receive safe, well-timed and effective wherever she lives and regardless of her socioeconomic status.  Safe surgery should be available to every patient, no matter the location of operating room.

CSGS established this blog in order to start a dialogue around safety and global surgery.  We want to convene a conversation with providers, patients, partners and stakeholders around the world about equitably increasing access to surgery.  Thanks for joining in the conversation.

 


[i] Weiser et al., “Standardised Metrics for Global Surgical Surveillance”

[ii] Safe Surgery Saves Lives:  Second Global Patient Safety Challenge

[iii] Safe Surgery Saves Lives:  Second Global Patient Safety Challenge

[iv] Safe Surgery Saves Lives:  Second Global Patient Safety Challenge

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This is a very important initiative. I would love to learn more.
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