The utility of pre-operative haemoglobin testing in adult day-case surgical patients

  • PU Nze Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria


The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of abnormal preoperative haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations in adult day-case surgical patients and to determine the cost effectiveness of such routine haemoglobin testing. A retrospective review of the results of preoperative haemoglobin tests of adult day-case surgical patients over a 2-year period was used as tool. Results shows that during the study period, 500 patients underwent day-case surgical procedures under general anaesthesia. Thirty (6%) out of the 500 patients had abnormal haemoglobin concentration (Hb < 10g/dl). Twenty-four (80%) of the 30 cases of low Hb concentrations were females between the ages of 18 and 59 years old. This study has demonstrated that only a small percentage (6%) of adult day-case surgical patients present with abnormally low pre-operative haemoglobin concentrations. It is therefore suggested that preoperative haemoglobin tests should only be ordered when specifically indicated by a thorough history and physical examination.

Keywords: preoperative haemoglobin, day-case surgery, cost containment

The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13(2) 2006: 39-41

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eISSN: 1117-4153