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Are haematological tests warranted prior to tonsillectomy?

  • J. R. Livesey (a1)


The use of phlebotomy for a full blood count (FBC) and group and serum storage (G&S) prior to tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy was assessed by means of a postal questionnaire sent to consultant otolaryngologists within the South West Thames region. This was compared with ‘countrywide’ practice assessed by means of questions to attenders at an otolaryngology course.

A postal response rate of 86 per cent was obtained with 67 per cent within the region requesting a FBC prior to tonsillectomy and 50 per cent to adenoidectomy alone. This was much greater than for the ‘countrywide’ group with 24 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Requests for pre-operative G&S were 17 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

This large difference in practice suggests that in the clinically healthy patient with no specific indications, pre-operative haematological investigations may be non-contributary, which has important financial implications. The maintenance of post-operative intravenous access is considered to be much safer, less traumatic and cheaper.


Corresponding author

J. R. Livesey, ENT Department, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.


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Chowdhury, K., Tewfile, T. L., Schloss, M. D. (1988) Post-tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy haemorrhage. Journal of Otolaryngology 17: 4649.
Nigram, A., Ahmed, K., Drake-Lee, A. B. (1990) The value of pre-operative estimation of haemoglobin in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Clinical Otolaryngology, 15: 549551.
Office of Population Census and Surveys (1985) Cancer Statistics: Registrations. Her Majesty's Stationery Office: London, p 26.


Are haematological tests warranted prior to tonsillectomy?

  • J. R. Livesey (a1)


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