Measuring a patient's hemoglobin and hematocrit prior to surgery is only necessary if the patient has a condition that is associated with significant anemia or if perioperative management would be significantly different if anemia is present.


Indications for measuring a patient's hemoglobin and hematocrit prior to surgery:

(1) age < 6 months or > 40 (? > 50) years

(2) female gender

(3) history of anemia, including hemoglobinopathy (sickle cell disease, thalassemia, etc.)

(4) recent history of abnormal bleeding

(5) history of cancer or leukemia

(6) history of long-term cigarette smoking and/or COPD

(7) history of renal insufficiency or failure

(8) congestive heart failure or ischemic heart disease

(9) current anticoagulant therapy

(10) recent history of chemotherapy

(11) surgical procedure associated with risk of significant blood loss

(12) physical signs of anemia (pallor, unexplained tachycardia, hypotension, other)


A patient with none of these findings probably does not need to have the hemoglobin and hematocrit measured before surgery.


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