Masthead small

SMFM Special Statement: Surgical safety checklists for cesarean delivery

The routine use of surgical safety checklists can reduce perioperative complications. Generic surgical safety checklists are insufficient for cesarean delivery because each cesarean delivery involves 2 patients (the mother and the fetus or newborn), each with separate care teams and health and safety considerations. To address the added complexity of care coordination and communication inherent in cesarean delivery, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine presents sample standard surgical safety checklists for cesarean delivery that include elements of care for both the mother and newborn. In addition, we present an alternative checklist for time-critical emergency cesarean deliveries in which there is no time to safely perform the standard checklist and a sample preoperative checklist for use before moving the patient to the operating room. We also recommend steps for implementation of the checklists at individual facilities.