If unnecessary blood orders can be reasonably waived, it will reduce both workload and financial expenditure. A review of the surgical blood ordering practice is, therefore, mandatory.
Routine preoperative blood orders were retrospectively audited. After receiving the requests, we usually performed only type and screen tests without crossmatching until an actual need for transfusion occurred. Transfusion probability (number of patients transfused ÷ number of procedures ×100) was calculated. One unit of donation was defined as 500 mL whole blood. If surgical procedures were associated with insignificant blood loss (number of units transfused ≤ 1) and transfusion probability was less than 5%, then it was considered to be safe to disregard a preoperative blood order.
The blood ordering practices for 5,472 patients who received various surgical procedures were reviewed over a period of 48 operation days. Neither preoperative requests for preparation of red cells nor transfusion was made in 3,482 patients. Preoperative requests for preparation of red cells were made in 1,990 patients, but only 751 (37.74%) actually received blood transfusion on the day of the operation. Analysis showed that it would have been safe to disregard a preoperative blood order for ophthalmic surgery, ear surgery, nose surgery (endoscopic sinus surgery, submucosal turbinectomy), microlaryngoscopic surgery, tracheostomy, thyroidectomy, mastectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, hemicolectomy, hernioplasty, arthroscopic surgery, laminectomy, laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy, vasec-tomy and varicose vein surgery.
A review of preoperative blood orders has identified certain surgical procedures with insignificant blood loss and low transfusion probability, for which preoperative blood orders may be safely disregarded in order to reduce unnecessary laboratory workload while not jeopardizing patient safety.