Blood test could save lives after surgery

Potentially life-threatening complications are always a possibility when having surgery. Now, a new test could improve post-operative care

Blood test could save lives after surgery

Source: Best Health Magazine, September 2012; Image credit: iStockphoto.com

A new blood test may help prevent deaths in patients who have had non-cardiac surgery. A study by McMaster University researchers, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the test, of a protein marker called Troponin T, is a way for doctors to determine which patients are more likely to die in the 30 days after surgery and should therefore have enhanced observation and treatment post-operation. Heart attacks are not uncommon following any surgery, as going under the knife can activate inflammation, stress and clotting’predisposing the heart to injury.

The study results indicate that, of those who were identified as having an elevated Troponin T level and subsequently died, death did not occur until at least six days after the elevated levels were identified, so researchers are hopeful that this new blood test will provide time to intervene and potentially save lives.

This article was originally titled "A simple test could save lives" in the September 2012 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!

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