Informed consent in surgery: an audit of practice in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
This study was conducted to assess patients' knowledge of their diagnoses and proposed surgical procedures before giving consent for such procedures in the various surgical units of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife. A structured questionnaire was administered to 80 consecutive patients who had just undergone an elective major surgery in general surgery, gyneacology, orthopaedics and surgical subspecialty units of the hospital. Sixty patients (75%) gave
... ients (75%) gave consent themselves, while other consents were obtained from close relations. Thirty-seven (46.25%) respondents were informed of the diagnoses and procedure by the unit consultants but no consultant was involved in the completion of the consent form. Seventy-five (93.75%) respondents had a knowledge of the diagnoses, 68(85%) understood the procedure but only 21(26.25%) knew any alternative to the procedure, 29(36.25%) knew at least one complication of the procedure and 12(15%) knew an option or complication of anaesthesia. Forty-five (56.25%) of the consent forms were properly filled while other forms had one error or another. Well structured and standardized method of obtaining informed consent from surgical patients should be adopted. While educating patients, the various alternatives to the procedure and possible complications should be carefully explained to the patients who should be carried along in decision making.