South African Family Practice

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Point-of-care estimation of haemoglobin concentration in all age groups in clinical practice

E Schapkaitz, J Mahlangu


Background: The measurement of haemoglobin (Hb) concentration provides a reliable, primary screening test for the presence and severity of anaemia. The HemoCue® is a point-of-care test for Hb measurement. The introduction of point-of-care testing in hospitals and general practice has improved patient care and accessibility. This study was performed to evaluate the utility of point-of-care Hb measurement with the HemoCue® device for the diagnosis of anaemia. Method: In this prospective study, we compared the analytical performance of the HemoCue® to the Coulter® LH 750 automated haematology analyser with regard to accuracy, precision and linearity in the measurement of Hb in adult and paediatric patient samples, referred for routine laboratory testing. Results: Samples from 100 patients were analysed with both instruments, and the results were compared using standard scatter and difference plots. The mean Hb value of the HemoCue® (11.3 g/dl; range 4.6-16.7) was comparable to the Coulter® LH 750 (11.3 g/dl; range 4.7-17.2). The Bland-Altman difference plot revealed good correlation. Bias between the two methods was small, and the imprecision was within acceptable limits. Hb measurement was linear in the range of 4.8-20 g/dl. Conclusion: In all age groups, the HemoCue® point-of-care device can be used to provide accurate and reliable Hb measurements with a smaller sample volume, improved turnaround time, and long-term cost saving.

Keywords: haemoglobin, HemoCue®, point-of-care testing, anaemia screening
AJOL African Journals Online