Looking for the second patient: Current practice and opinion on pre-operative pregnancy testing in Western Australia

J.C. Watts, S.Z. Wong, Troy Faithfull, Kate Wylde, Paul Mcgurgan

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    Introduction To determine current hospital practices and the opinions of senior health professionals working in Western Australian (WA) hospitals performing gynaecological procedures regarding pre-operative pregnancy testing. Methods Anonymous questionnaire survey sent to all WA public and private hospitals' senior clinical staff (38 units where gynaecological surgery was performed in WA). Results Sixty-one senior health professionals (heads of department, medical directors, theatre nurse managers), completed the survey (estimated response rate 71%). Thirty-eight (68%) of respondents' units had guidelines for pre-operative pregnancy testing and 55% respondents worked in hospitals which tested all women of reproductive potential. Nineteen (33%) respondents reported cases in which patients had presented for surgery unaware they were pregnant. Forty-one (76%) respondents believed that all women of reproductive potential should have routine pre-operative pregnancy testing. Fifty-four (89%) supported the introduction of national or statewide guidelines. Discussion There are inconsistent processes of pre-operative assessment of pregnancy status in WA hospitals performing gynaecological surgery potentially resulting in adverse incidents. The majority of senior clinical staff surveyed supported routine pre-operative testing and the need for national or statewide guidelines. © 2014 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-25
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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