Introduction The purpose of our audit was to determine whether our hospital is following the BHIVA National Guidelines (2008) and testing for HIV in patients presenting with unexplained blood dyscrasias.
Methods Our initial sample consisted of all inpatients coded as having lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia or neutropenia between 1/1/16 and 1/11/16. We excluded patients with a known cause of cytopenia and those with mild cytopenias (platelets >80, neutrophils >1, lymphocytes>1). In our final sample of 82 patients, we used the electronic ordering system to collect patient and admission information and to determine whether a HIV test was ordered.
Results 37% of patients with unexplained blood dyscrasias were tested for HIV. 60% of patients with neutropenia were tested compared with 42% with thrombocytopenia, 25% with lymphopenia and 20% with mixed cytopenias. Patients with lower blood counts were more likely to be tested for HIV. Patients were more likely to be tested for HIV if they were admitted under the haematology team (55%) compared with those admitted under general medical (31%) or surgical teams (27%). HIV testing declined with increasing age of patients with 67% of those aged under 30 being tested compared with 60%, 56%, 22% and 0% of patients between 31–50, 51–70, 71–90 and over 90 respectively.
Discussion We found that the majority of patients with unexplained blood dyscrasias were not tested for HIV. Our study highlighted several factors that influence whether testing is performed. These include the nature and severity of cytopenia, patient age and the admitting medical team.
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