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Healthy people need fewer preoperative tests for elective surgery, says NICE

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 06 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i1958
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Patients undergoing elective surgery do not need to undergo a raft of preoperative tests unless they have underlying health conditions or are having a complex or major procedure, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said.

In an updated clinical guideline on routine preoperative tests,1 NICE recommends reducing the number of routine tests given to healthy patients undergoing surgery, as well as ensuring that test results known to a patient’s general practice are made available with referrals, to avoid unnecessary testing.

The updated guideline follows guidance published in January by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland jointly with the British Hypertension Society, which recommended that GPs include information on a patient’s blood pressure in referral letters for elective surgery and refer only those whose blood pressure was lower than 160/100 mm Hg for the …

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