Optimising calcium monitoring post thyroid and parathyroid surgery.
JournalBMJ quality improvement reports
RightsArchived with thanks to BMJ Quality Improvement Reports. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode
MetadataShow full item record
There is a risk of hypocalcaemia following total thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy surgery, with the nadir being two to five days post operatively. This project examined and improved the post-operative monitoring of serum calcium in patients undergoing these procedures at the Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) Hospital over a ten month period in 2013. A retrospective audit was undertaken, identifying whether serum calcium was monitored according to guideline; ie measured within the first 24 hours of surgery and daily thereafter until the patient was normocalcaemic.[2-3] The audit showed an overall compliance in 79% (n = 34) of cases. Of the non-compliant cases (n=9), seven also suffered hypocalcaemia. The current process was mapped by a flow chart and used as a basis for discussing experiences and identifying areas for improvement. Interventions implemented included a patient leaflet, a process flow chart displayed in the team office and in the weekend handover book, standard text for use in discharge summaries describing the process to GPs, the issuing of prescriptions or actual supplements for patients felt to be at high risk of hypocalcaemia, and finally education to the wider surgical junior doctor team. Percentage compliance with guidelines was compared before and after intervention with a re-audit undertaken in April 2014. Significant improvement was shown, with 100% of re-audit cases compliant (n=41), and all seven cases of hypocalcaemia were managed in full compliance with guideline.