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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 99-103

Patterns of significant and unexpected, and critical findings in surgical pathology practice in a university hospital in Nigeria: a 5-year retrospective survey

Department of Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Almustapha A Liman
Department of Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ssajm.ssajm_2_19

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Critical values or significant and unexpected findings were introduced in anatomic pathology only recently; after showing immense success in clinical pathology practice; and it still is a subject of variation according to the differences in geographical or work setting and among pathologists and clinical specialists. It has been demonstrated that customizing the list at a given institution to address all potential diagnoses and results necessary and when framed into a policy can serve as important measures for optimizing patients’ safety. This study was conducted to demonstrate the prevalence and distribution patterns of these findings and to raise the awareness of the local pathologists and other clinicians to the evolving concept and practice of significant and unexpected values in surgical pathology. We studied the prevalence of significant and unexpected findings in surgical pathology through a retrospective review of 14,696 surgical pathology reports seen in a large tertiary hospital over a five-year period. Based on literature and our experience, we selected 10 categories of possible surgical pathology results that can justify an urgent communication with the clinician for immediate action and extracted them from the pool; they were analyzed and presented in descriptive tabular format. The study established a prevalence of 3.15% and outlined the distribution and frequency ratios of the 10 specific categories of results. The prevalence as established here was comparatively high, hence, the need for institutionalizing critical diagnoses guidelines in our surgical pathology practice as a patient safety initiative.

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