Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Learning from errors
The importance of a travel history in the preoperative assessment of an elective surgical patient
  1. Emily Han Shao1,
  2. Ellen Martina Hayes1,
  3. Haris A Khwaja2,
  4. Evangelos Efthimiou1
  1. 1Department of General surgery, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Surgery, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Han Shao, emilyhanshao{at}gmail.com

Summary

The authors present the case of a 43-year-old gentleman who was admitted for an elective surgical removal of an eroded gastric band. The patient reported no medical concerns and other than a mild anaemia of haemoglobin of 10.6, his preoperative assessment was non-significant. Postoperatively, the patient spiked temperatures on multiple occasions. When a travel history was subsequently taken, the patient revealed he had returned from Nigeria the night before his elective surgery. The patient tested positive for Plasmodium falciparum malaria for which he was successfully managed with oral quinine and doxycycline, and recuperated well both from malaria and the surgery. P falciparum malaria is a medical emergency and increases the morbidity and mortality of anaesthesia and surgery. Travel histories are not currently routinely taken as part of the preoperative assessment for elective surgical admissions; the authors argue that it should become a mandatory part.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.