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The vet did it! Can we overcome human error in veterinary practice?

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Human error is the largest single cause of mistakes made by veterinary surgeons when treating patients, according to research published by The University of Nottingham in 2015. It’s an issue on which the veterinary world is significantly behind human medicine.

Fuelled by public concern, the medical profession over the last 25 years has investigated the causes and types of medical error in patient care, drawing on research from other safety critical industries such as aviation. This work led to the publication of the WHO surgical checklist which has been implemented across the world.

In this session we will discuss how human error impacts patient care in a veterinary context and explore whether and how vets can learn from tools in human medicine.


  • Catherine Oxtoby BVSc MRCVS, Veterinary Risk Manager, Veterinary Defence Society (VDS
  • Anne Pullyblank MBBS BSc MD FRCS, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Session chaired by Gudrun Ravetz, BVSc MRCVS, BVA President, September 2016 – September 2017

Running time: 74 minutes
Part of BVA Congress at London Vet Show 2016

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London Vet Show

London Vet Show is a national two day conference and exhibition which offers world-class clinical and business content to veterinary professionals. The show has nearly 400 exhibitors and six clinical streams of world-class Continuing Professional Development (CPD).