Routine blood group and antibody screening prior to emergency laparoscopy

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Studies show that rates of blood transfusion associated with general surgical laparoscopy are low. Currently, there are no national guidelines in the UK regarding blood group and antibody screening (G&S) for patients undergoing emergency laparoscopy. The aim of this study was to assess whether using G&S before emergency laparoscopic general surgery routinely is worthwhile by identifying rates of perioperative transfusion.

METHODS

Data were collected retrospectively on all emergency laparoscopic procedures at a single district general hospital between January 2014 and 31 December 2016. Emergency laparoscopic general surgical cases were included and gynaecological cases excluded. Records were reviewed to ascertain whether G&S was performed, whether antibodies were detected and whether patients were transfused.

RESULTS

A total of 562 emergency laparoscopic cases were performed. The median age was 28 years (range: 6-95 years). Laparoscopic appendicectomy (n=446), diagnostic laparoscopy (n=47) and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (n=25) were the most common procedures. Of the total patient cohort, 514 (91.5%) and 349 (70.1%) had a first and second G&S respectively while 30 (5.3%) had no G&S. Four patients (0.71%) had antibodies detected. One patient (0.18%) received a transfusion. This patient had undergone laparoscopic repair of a perforated duodenal ulcer and there was no major intraoperative haemorrhage but he was transfused perioperatively for chronic anaemia.

CONCLUSIONS

These results demonstrate a low rate of blood transfusion in emergency laparoscopic general surgery. The majority of these patients had a low risk of major intraoperative haemorrhage and we therefore argue that G&S was not warranted. We propose a more targeted approach to the requirement for preoperative G&S and the use of O negative blood in the event of acute haemorrhage from major vessel injury.

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