Hematology testing at the point-of-care saves material and human resources
A large proportion of blood samples are sent to reference laboratories for full blood count for study of possible anemia. According to Munoz et al this is a waste of material and human resources since the larger part of these samples show quite normal Hb values. A good alternative is testing Hb point-of-care with the HemoCue® Analyzer.
This was found in a study where Hb determination at the point-of-care was compared to that performed with a reference method. Blood samples, both capillary and venous, were drawn from 247 patients in primary care for routine laboratory tests. The capillary blood was analyzed with the HemoCue® Analyzer whereas the venous blood was analyzed both with the HemoCue® Analyzer and the reference cell counter Pentra 120 Retic. There were no statistically significant differences in Hb-values obtained with the three different methods. The authors conclude that measuring venous or capillary Hb with the HemoCue® Hb Analyzer is a valuable test for primary diagnosis of anemia in general practice. Additional full blood count is required only when anemia is detected or when clinical signs or the patient’s history lead to the suspicion of iron deficiency despite a normal Hb.
Munoz, M. et al, Clin Lab Haem, 2005, 27; 99-104