The Usefulness of Preoperative Laboratory Screening

Eric B. Kaplan, MD; Lewis B. Sheiner, MD; Alison J. Boeckmann, MS; Michael F. Roizen, MD; Stuart L. Beal, PhD; Stephen N. Cohen, MD; C. Diana Nicoll, MD, PhD
JAMA. 1985;253(24):3576-3581. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480084025.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

We assessed the usefulness of routine laboratory screening of preoperative patients. Computer-readable laboratory, demographic, and discharge diagnostic data were assembled for 2,000 patients undergoing elective surgery over a four-month period, and randomly selected samples of patients were studied. Several tests ordered by protocol and performed by the laboratory at the time of admission were examined in these samples, including complete blood cell count, differential cell count, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, six-factor automated multiple analysis, and glucose level.

Sixty percent of these routinely ordered tests would not have been performed if testing had only been done for recognizable indications, and only 0.22% of these revealed abnormalities that might influence perioperative management. Chart review indicated that these few abnormalities were not acted on nor did they have adverse surgical or anesthetic consequences. In the absence of specific indications, routine preoperative laboratory tests contribute little to patient care and could reasonably be eliminated.

(JAMA 1985;253:3576-3581)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.