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A safety checklist for transoesophageal echocardiography from the British Society of Echocardiography and the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists


The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the Surgical Safety Checklist in 2008. The introduction of this checklist resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of complications and death in patients undergoing surgery. Consequently, the WHO Surgical Safety checklist is recommended for use by the National Patient Safety Agency for all patients undergoing surgery. However, many invasive or interventional procedures occur outside the theatre setting and there are increasing requirements for a safety checklist to be used prior to such procedures. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) is an invasive procedure and although generally considered to be safe, it carries the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening complications. Strict adherence to a safety checklist may reduce the rate of significant complications during TOE. However, the standard WHO Surgical Safety Checklist is not designed for procedures outside the theatre environment and therefore this document is designed to be a procedure-specific safety checklist for TOE. It has been endorsed for use by the British Society of Echocardiography and the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists.


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This guideline did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector

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Correspondence to Vishal Sharma MD FRCP FESC.

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V Sharma, S Alderton and H McNamara are the lead authors

B Rana is the Guidelines Chair

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Sharma, V., Alderton, S., McNamara, H. et al. A safety checklist for transoesophageal echocardiography from the British Society of Echocardiography and the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists. Echo Res Pract 2, G25–G27 (2015).

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Key Words

  • transoesophageal echocardiography
  • safety checklist