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In Press: Recording of Smoking Status Prior to Surgical Operation


A report published last week in Suomen Lääkärilehti (Finnish Medical Journal) investigated recording of preoperative smoking status in the Porvoo hospital area during the early implementation phase of the smoke-free surgery treatment model.

The study demonstrated that recording of smoking status prior to elective surgery was not systematic: among 149 patients, smoking status was recorded at primary health care referrals in 32% of cases, and in hospital outpatient records for only 17% of the patients. For recording of smoking cessation intervention, the percentages were 15% and 22%, respectively.

According to treatment guidelines, smoking cessation 4–8 weeks prior to elective surgery improves operative outcomes and reduces all operation-related complications by 30–40%.
Successful pre-operative smoking cessation relies on early identification of smokers and documentation of smoking status to facilitate effective smoking cessation intervention at each step of the treatment pathway.

“The conclusion of this real-life data is that there is a need for additional support to establish consistent implementation of the smoke-free surgery treatment model.”

MedEngine designed and performed the study in collaboration with clinical experts from Helsinki University Hospital. The study was funded by Pfizer Oy.

Ventola H, Grönholm A, Jokelainen J, Ylisaukko-oja T, Bots S, Halonen K. Tieto leikkauspotilaan tupakoinnista on tärkeää kirjata systemaattisesti. Suom Lääkäril 2018;73:2435–2436.

Read more about preoperative smoking cessation practices and challenges at Finnish university hospitals.

Anna Grönholm

Anna Grönholm

Anna received her PhD in immunology from the University of Tampere in 2015. During her doctoral studies, she worked on a wide range of projects varying from basic immunology to diagnostic biomarkers, both in Finland and in the US. In addition to her biomedical training, Anna has a few extra feathers in her cap, having also studied communication, data journalism, and marketing. Anna is passionate about learning new things—whether they are related to new treatments for inflammatory diseases or innovative ways to utilize data. Apart from science, she enjoys mountain hikes, traveling and photography, or relaxing at home with her family and some good books. Anna is an honorary member of MedEngine’s rabbit owner division, although she currently doesn’t have rabbits of her own.