Background: Accurate estimation of blood loss (EBL) may be helpful for patient safety during certain operative procedures; however, medical students and residents are rarely instructed in EBL. In a series of two tests, we attempted to reveal any significant improvement in accuracy of EBL after a brief training session.
Methods: Fourteen orthopaedic residents were recruited. Participants estimated the amounts of simulated blood before and after a training session that involved a visual of 110 cm3 of the spilled fluid. Three volumes of 50, 237, and 531 cm3 of simulated blood were spilled on a lap sponge, blanket, and trash bag, creating nine stations total for estimating blood loss.
Results: The EBL for each surface was inaccurate, particularly on the absorbent material (ie, sponge and blanket). Of the 126 initial estimates, a total of 13 (10%) were within 20% of the true value. After a brief training session, a total of 43 estimates (34%) were within 20% of the true value spilled. Individual estimates maintained a wide range in both tests.
Conclusions: Although EBL is a difficult skill to learn, training may result in significant improvement of accuracy. Healthcare professionals should be aware of the complications in estimating blood loss and possible benefits of formal instruction.
Jobe, Jeffrey T.; Erika L. Garbrecht; Heather M. Menzer; and Richard A. Miller. "Estimation of Simulated Blood Loss by Orthopaedic Residents Before and After Brief Training." UNM Orthopaedic Research Journal 5, 1 (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/unm_jor/vol5/iss1/22