February 5, 2016

Rates of lab tests before low-risk surgical procedures

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Depending on which hospital a patient goes to for a low-risk surgical procedure, he or she may be 2.4 times more or less likely to be sent for preoperative blood work, this study finds.

Researchers found that overall, unnecessary preoperative lab tests (eg, complete blood count, blood clotting tests, basic metabolic panel) were conducted before nearly 30% of procedures.

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The study included nearly 1 million patients at 119 hospitals in Ontario, Canada, between 2008 and 2013.

This study is the first to examine preoperative lab tests for a broad range of low-risk procedures in multiple institutions across a large patient population and over a period of multiple years.


Perioperative Medicine Preoperative Laboratory Investigations: Rates and Variability Prior to Low-risk Surgical Procedures From the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (K.R.K.); Department of Anesthesia, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (K.R.K.); Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St.


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