Remembering the Importance of an Old Friend: History Taking in Preoperative Evaluation of Healthy Children: A Single Center Experience

  • Şule Toprak Nevsehir State Hospital
  • Ülker Koçak Gazi University School of Medicine
  • Emine Dibek Mısırlıoğlu Sami Ulus Çocuk Hastanesi
  • Cihat Şanlı Kırıkkale University, School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics
  • Meryem Albayrak Kırıkkale University, School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics
  • Hülya Başar Ministry of Health, Ankara State Hospital
Keywords: Preoperative evaluation, children.


Objective: To investigate the consequences of routine laboratory tests that lead to surgical delay or high cost in patients with a normal medical history and physical examination who undergo minor surgical interventions.Patients and Method: Files of 1,322 patients aged between 0-16 years that had undergone elective surgical intervention within six years were reviewed.Results: Of the 1,322 patients, 1,246 (94.3%) had normal physical examination and laboratory findings. Seventy-six children who had abnormalities in laboratory findings and physical examination were referred to pediatrics. Of the 76 pediatric referees, 42 (55.3%) were reevaluated and were diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection (n=23; 30.2%), iron deficiency anemia (n=5; 6.5%), innocent murmur (n=4; 5.3%), thalassemia minor (n=2; 2.6%), lower respiratory tract infection (n=2; 2.6%), urinary tract infection (n=1; 1.3%), mumps (n=1; 1.3%), acute gastroenteritis (n=1; 1.3%), minimal aortic and tricuspid valve insufficiency (n=1; 1.3%), minimal aortic stenosis (n=1; 1.3%), atrial septal defect (n=1; 1.3%). Surgical interventions were delayed until the recovery of the infectious diseases. In 25 of the patients, repeated tests showed normal ranges after the second test; however nine (n=9) of the patients showed increased or decreased numbers of white blood cell counts and whose medical history and physical examination revealed signs and symptoms related to infection.Conclusion: Routine laboratory tests contribute little to preoperative evaluation of children with normal history and physical examination undergoing low grade surgery.


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Original Research