Podcast # 327: No More Hemoccults - The Emergency Medical Minute

Author: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • The use of fecal occult blood tests is falling out of favor in emergency departments
  • These tests have strong evidence suggesting their efficacy in colon cancer screening but clinical significance in ED is limited
  • They have relatively high false positive and false negative rates
  • Small/microscopic bleeding are often not clinically significant in the ED but can lead to increased costs from over-testing and other harms from fecal occult blood testing



Gupta A, Tang Z, Agrawal D. Eliminating In-Hospital Fecal Occult Blood Testing: Our Experience with Disinvestment. American Journal of Medicine. (2018). 10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.03.002

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