Safety in Anaesthesia

Patient safety is core to all aspects of the College’s training, education and standards for anaesthesia.  

Patient Safety Updates (issued quarterly)

Patient Safety Update – January to March 2014

  • Date announced for SALG Patient Safety Conference 2014
  • Residual anaesthetic drugs in cannulae and intravenous lines
  • Misconnections… including an important alert relating to G-size cylinders
  • Serious complications of routine clinical procedures
  • Monitoring during patient transfer
  • Errors associated with assessment of the medical record
  • Surviving sepsis
  • Regular reminders of national audit projects

Patient Safety Update – January to March 2014 (presentation)

Issued: June 2014

Patient Safety Update – October to December 2013

  • Incident data reported in Scotland
  • New national patient safety alerting system
  • Risk of hypothermia for patients on continuous renal replacement therapy
  • Bone Cement Implantation Syndrome
  • Epidural analgesia
  • Stop before you block
  • Airway disasters- lessons for us all
  • Airway equipment- expect the unexpected
  • Managing complications of surgery
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Adverse incidents and fatigue

Patient Safety Update – October to December 2013 (presentation)

Issued: March 2014

Patient Safety Update – July to September 2013

  • Lipid to the rescue!
  • Near miss (and not so near miss) drug errors
  • Central lines, arterial lines, epidurals and nasogastric tubes
  • Difficult extubation
  • Care of the elderly, your high risk patients
  • Patient Safety Conference 2013 – Poster abstracts

Patient Safety Update – July to September 2013 (presentation)

Issued: December 2013

Patient Safety Update – April to June 2013

  • Drug errors in anaesthesia – how do we reduce them?
  • ‘Non-technical skills’ and patient outcomes
  • Transfers, critical care outreach and use of recovery: Maintaining quality care when resources are stretched
  • Nuss bar removal, a rare complication
  • Surgical ‘never events’ – still occurring
  • Arterial puncture and central lines – common complication
  • Tracheostomy care study – NCEPOD
  • Anaesthetic machine check – check final configuration before use
  • Hip cement – Hip fracture audit

Patient Safety Update – April to June 2013 (presentation)

Issued: September 2013

Nurturing a safety culture, learning from mistakes, preventing harm and working as part of a team are all part of the discipline of safety. To this end, the College engages with partner organisations to create and disseminate our patient safety agenda. Shared learning, comments and local contribution towards improvements in safety are welcome and can be submitted to the Patient Safety Administrator (

Recent Patient Safety News and Alerts

  • Safer Surgery Week webinars
    A series of webinars, including one by the RCoA President Dr JP van Besouw, are available on the Patient Safety First website. These are valuable educational tools for the whole surgical team undertaking the Safer Surgery checklist.
  • Safer spinal (intrathecal), epidural and regional devices  updated October 2011
  • Wrong Site Blocks updated 16 June 2011
    The Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group has been working closely with partnership organisations and the Safety Network on projects relating to the prevention of Wrong Site Block. Please click on the link above to visit our dedicated web page and view the available resources.
  • Non-Luer Spinal Devices Evaluation – please take part updated 27 May 2011
    The Obstetric Anaesthetists Association (OAA), in partnership with SALG, have developed an evaluation system for new spinal (intrathecal), epidural and regional devices.

The anaesthetic eForm has a new URL. Please add it to you favourites

Key safety organisations and initiatives

Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency
Patient safety first campaign Patient Safety First Campaign

1000 Lives Plus of Wales

1000 Lives Plus of Wales Scottish Patient Safety Programme Scottish Patient Safety Programme
HSC Safety Forum HSC Safety Forum WHO checklist: Safe Surgery
Saves Lives


Patient Safety Administrator
020 7092 1575




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