Review of the medical literature indicates that routine preoperative chest radiographs identify few children with unsuspected significant disease. Therefore, the Committee on Hospital Care of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these examinations should not be considered mandatory and should be performed only at the discretion of the attending physician. Chest radiographs should not be a substitute for a complete medical history and physical examination, which remain the most effective methods for determining those patients who are at risk for complications associated with surgery.
Preoperative chest radiographs may be indicated when, for example, the history or physical findings suggest respiratory, cardiovascular, chronic renal, immune deficiency, or certain hematologic disease, or malignancy with possible pulmonary involvement. Similarly, these examinations may be helpful whenever it is anticipated that their results will be needed for comparison with postoperative radiographs. In any case, the attending physician should have the freedom to request preoperative chest radiographs under any circumstances in which his/her clinical judgment dictates the procedure to be appropriate.
- Copyright © 1983 by the American Academy of Pediatrics