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Can J Anaesth. 2005 Aug-Sep;52(7):697-702.

Preoperative medical consultations: impact on perioperative management and surgical outcome.

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Department of Anesthesiology, S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.



This study was designed to assess the effect of preoperative medical consults on both perioperative management and surgical outcome.


The charts of 387 consecutive patients over the age of 50 undergoing non-cardiac, elective surgery during a six-week period were retrospectively examined. Patient factors including age, ASA status, gender, type of surgery, outcome (death, unexpected intensive care unit admission or uncomplicated discharge), presence of medical consult, and, in those cases where a medical consult was present, stated reason for the consult, the ordering physician, and recommendations of the consultant, were recorded.


138 patients receiving medical consults (35.7%) were identified (a total of 146 consults). The most common stated purpose of the consults examined was "preoperative evaluation." In only five consults (3.4%) did the consultant identify a new finding. Sixty-two consults (42.5%) contained no recommendations. There was no statistically significant difference in outcome between those patients who received a medical consult and those who did not.


A review of 146 medical consults suggests that the majority of such consults give little advice that truly impacts either perioperative management or outcome of surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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