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Current preoperative marking practice by UK ophthalmologists
  1. Oliver J Baylis,
  2. Scott G Fraser
  1. The Department of Ophthalmology, Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Sunderland, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 S G Fraser
 Department of Ophthalmology, Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland SR2 9HP, UK; s.g.fraser{at}

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In Patient Safety Alert 6, The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) stated that “across the NHS, there is no single standard method for marking a surgical site, which increases the likelihood of confusion and error. Despite high professional standards and excellent best practice at a local level, safety can be improved by using a consistent national standard for pre-operative marking and a verification checklist”.1

The deadline for consideration/implementation of these NPSA guidelines (or a robust local alternative) was 16 March 2005. We attempted to ascertain to what extent standardisation in preoperative marking exists within ophthalmology by surveying a sample of UK consultant ophthalmologists in March 2006.

Questionnaires were sent to consultants in randomly chosen geographical regions. The …

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