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Appropriateness of referrals for endoscopy for investigation of anaemia


Dr Lisa Watt, Dr Seamus Murphy

Departments / Institutions

Daisyhill Hospital, Gastroenterology

Publication Date

Autumn 2014


This is a retrospective study of fifty outpatients, referred to gastroenterology and our surgical colleagues, for investigation of their anaemia by means of endoscopy.By using the BSG guidelines as our standard to define appropriateness of referrals interms of their definition of IDA, we have reviewed whether patients are defined correctly as IDA prior to investigation in the first instance- which according to the BSG guidelines, we should be aiming to do for 100% of our patients. This study found that 44 of our 50 patients were appropriately diagnosed as IDA and hence while we do not meet the BSG guidance that all our patients should be diagnosed accurately as IDA, we had found that the level of referrals deemed therefore appropriate higher than in previous studies such as thse carried out by McCormack et al and Aljerbeen et al , who found that referrals for endoscopy could be in the most case inappropriate.A case is therefore made that with better education of the referrer we can improve upon the appropriateness of referrals for our patients for what is deemed fairly invasive investigation, not without their attendant risks.

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