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Help Avoid Anesthetic Complications


2022-11-02

Run A Complete Blood Count On Every Preanesthetic Patient

Thanks to increased client awareness and compliance, preanesthetic testing is not only practical and accepted, it is also expected. The results benefit everyone as they decrease client anxiety, improve anesthetic safety, establish baseline data and increase a practice’s financial health.

Most practices offer or require a chemistry panel with electrolytes for a preanesthetic screen, but rather than run a complete blood count (CBC), they perform only a packed cell volume (PCV) for a hematology profile. A PCV can help determine if a patient is anemic, but it cannot provide information on whether or not platelets are adequate for surgery or if inflammation or a glucocorticoid influence (“stress”) is present. To maximize preanesthetic screening value, a CBC must include an accurate platelet count, a five-part white blood cell differential and an absolute reticulocyte count.

A CBC provides a broad overview of the general health status of a patient and should be performed on all patients undergoing preanesthetic screening since it may detect subclinical or early developing disease that might put the patient at risk during anesthesia.

Evaluation for potential red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet abnormalities should be performed prior to anesthesia for several important reasons.

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