operating lists

Last reviewed 01/2018

Operating lists can often cause much heartache for the house surgeon. Points to be remembered are as follows:

  • often the surgeon will have preferences about the order of the patients. General the principles are as follows:
    • old before young adults
    • underlying disease, especially diabetes, before fit
    • clean before dirty - i.e. abscess excision or similar
    • larger operations usually before smaller
  • the person who submits and signs the list takes the responsibility for any errors on that list. Thus abbreviations should be avoided - left and right must be written in full and ditto marks avoided.
  • for last minute changes to lists there are a variety of people to inform, including the surgeon, the theatre, the anaesthetist and the ward. Failure to inform any of these results in large amounts of confusion.