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Are we still performing too many blood tests?
  1. Arun Krishnamurthy1,
  2. Debashish Dutta1,
  3. Jeffrey Phillips1,
  4. Naseena Methal2
  1. 1Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Harlow, Essex, UK
  2. 2Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Arun Krishnamurthy
 Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Hamstel Road, Harlow, Essex CM20 1QX, UK; arun.krishnamurthy{at}

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In June 2003, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) produced clinical guidelines on preoperative testing for patients undergoing elective surgery.1 It made recommendations on the use of the following investigations: chest x ray, ECG, full blood count, clotting profile, urea and electrolytes, random blood glucose, urine analysis, arterial blood gases and lung function tests. The recommendations were presented in the form of easy-to-use “look-up” tables, which used a colour-coded traffic light system to indicate tests that were recommended, to be considered and not recommended. …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.