Executive Summary

NICE released a quality statement in December 2016 stating that all patients with iron-deficiency anaemia scheduled for surgery should be offered iron supplementation before and after surgery.

The rationale behind the statement is that preoperative anaemia is associated with increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. There are also increased transfusion needs. Treating iron deficiency with iron supplements can reduce the need for blood transfusion which avoids serious risks associated with blood transfusion such as infection, fluid overload and incorrect transfusion. This iron supplementation may also reduce the length of hospital stays and the cost to the NHS. Depending on the circumstances, the cause of the iron deficiency should be investigated before or after surgery.

This guideline provides recommendations for preoperative identification and management of anaemic adult surgical patients at ASPH.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Dr Mark MacGregor, Consultant Anaesthetist
Ratified by: Drug and Therapeutics Committee (DTC)
GS-ACT Governance Committee
Date Ratified: January 2022
Date Issued: April 2023
Review Date: December 2024
Target Audience: All staff involved in caring for adult patients undergoing elective surgery.
Contact name: Dr Mark MacGregor, Consultant Anaesthetist


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