Systematic Criteria for Type and Screen Based on Procedure's Probability of Erythrocyte Transfusion

F. Dexter, Johannes Ledolter, E. Davis, T. Witkowski, J. Herman, R Epstein

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review



At many hospitals, the type and screen decision is guided by the hospital's maximum surgical blood order schedule, a document that includes for each scheduled (elective) surgical procedure a recommendation of whether a preoperative type and screen be performed. There is substantial heterogeneity in the scientific literature for how that decision should be made.

Anesthesia information management system data were retrieved from the 160,207 scheduled noncardiac cases in adults of 1,253 procedures at a hospital.

Neither assuming a Poisson distribution of mean erythrocyte units transfused, nor grouping rare procedures into larger groups based on their anesthesia Current Procedural Terminology code, was reliable. In contrast, procedures could be defined to have minimal estimated blood loss (less than 50 ml) based on low incidence of transfusion and low incidence of the hemoglobin being checked preoperatively. Among these procedures, when the lower 95% confidence limit for erythrocyte transfusion was less than 5%, type and screen was shown to be unnecessary. The method was useful based on including multiple differences from the hospital's maximum surgical blood order schedule and clinicians' test ordering (greater than or equal to 29% fewer type and screen). Results were the same with a Bayesian random effects model.

We validated a method to determine procedures on the maximum surgical blood order schedule for which type and screen was not indicated using the estimated blood losses and incidences of transfusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768 - 778
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

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