Northern Sydney Local Health District
Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis is the most frequently performed test in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), often without indication.
Blood tests are expensive and contribute significantly to anaemia, which affects more than 95% of ICU patients by day three of admission, with half requiring blood transfusions.
This program involved bi-weekly case based in-service training over 12 weeks, departmental meetings, local ICU newsletter articles and closed social media group discussions.
ABG testing reduced from 4.9 to 3.1 per bed per day, sustained for 20 months. There was an absolute reduction of 71% in the number of inappropriate ABGs.
This intervention will decrease cost, anaemia, need for transfusions, infection risk, sleep disruption and delirium.