Aim: The study aimed to compare the frequency and alignment of preoperative anaemia screening and treatment with Australian guidelines in elective bowel surgery and determine the impact on clinical outcomes.
Methods: We performed a retrospective observational study, with an audit of 559 adult patients who underwent major elective bowel surgery in an Australian metropolitan hospital, January 2016–December 2018. Outcome measures included rate of anaemia, guideline compliance, hospital length of stay, and transfusion rate.
Results: Preoperative anaemia assessment occurred in 82.6% of patients. However, only 5.2% received recommended biochemical tests at least one week before surgery. Only 25.2% of anaemic patients received preoperative treatment; they experienced a longer hospital length of stay (9.93 days versus 7.88 days, p < 0.001) and an increased rate of transfusion (OR: 3.186, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The gaps between current preoperative anaemia screening, management and national guidelines may place patients at higher risk of poor surgical outcome.