Pediatric preoperative blood ordering: when is a type and screen or crossmatch really needed? (Carmean)

Fernández AM, Cronin J, Greenberg RS, Heitmiller ES. Pediatric preoperative blood ordering: when is a type and screen or crossmatch really needed? Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Feb;24(2):146-50.

BACKGROUND: Unnecessary testing for and ordering of blood products adds to overall healthcare costs.

OBJECTIVES: Determine intraoperative red blood cell (RBC) product utilization for pediatric procedures and costs associated with perioperative testing and ordering.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review captured perioperative blood testing and intraoperative transfusion data for patients <19 years of age who underwent noncardiac surgery over a 13-month period at one tertiary care hospital. The main outcome measure was cost associated with testing for blood products in patients undergoing procedures that had a zero rate of transfusion.

RESULTS: The intraoperative transfusion rate for 8620 noncardiac pediatric procedures was 2.78%. Of 8380 nontransfused patients, 707 (8.4%) had type and screen, and of those, 420 (5%) were crossmatched for RBC products in preparation for surgery. The 10 surgical procedures that had the highest perioperative blood testing but no instances of transfusion were as follows: colostomy or ileostomy takedown, spinal cord untethering, tunneled catheter placement, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, elbow reduction and fixation, lumbar puncture, suboccipital craniectomy, hip arthrogram, percutaneous intravascular central line, and tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Procedures with low transfusion probability and high crossmatch testing were ventriculoperitoneal shunt revision and growing rod distraction. For all nontransfused patients, the cost of obtaining type and screen was $31 815, and the cost for crossmatch was $25 200.

CONCLUSION: Patients may undergo preoperative type and screen or crossmatch for procedures rarely associated with transfusion. Historic transfusion probability may be used to predict need for transfusion for specific surgical procedures and reduce unnecessary perioperative testing and associated costs.

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