Author: Don Stader, MD
- The use of fecal occult blood tests is falling out of favor in emergency departments.
- In the ED, small amounts of bleeding are often not clinically significant and can lead to harms and costs of over-testing.
- They have relatively high false positive and false negative rates.
- Fecal occult blood tests have strong evidence suggesting their efficacy in cancer screening.
Cuthbert JA, Hashim IA. Diagnostic Fecal Occult Blood Testing in Hospitalized and Emergency Department Patients: Time for Change? Laboratory Medicine. 2018. doi:10.1093/labmed/lmy010.