Improved COVID-19 Screening Using Lymphocyte Count in Near Patient Testing
At HemoCue we are - in our own way - contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by ensuring continued supply of our point-of-care analyzers, e.g. HemoCue® WBC DIFF System, HemoCue® Hb Systems and HemoCue® Glucose 201 Systems - into primary care units, emergency departments (ED) and other front-line healthcare settings.
We have seen how front-line medical staff use HemoCue® WBC DIFF System to assist in discrimination between viral or bacterial infections, and deciding on sending the patient home or referring to hospital. Our analyzers are e.g. in use by mobile teams visiting patients at home and by staff within the elderly care.
One private primary care unit in the southern part of Sweden, shared their experience in using HemoCue® WBC DIFF System in their daily work. Read the story here below.
Evidence suggest that COVID-19 may correlate with a low lymphocyte count. Scroll down to learn how HemoCue add value in the fight against COVID-19.
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Flow Chart of COVID-19 Diagnosis and Treatment Decisions
Flow chart for treatment of COVID-19 in fever clinics in Wuhan China. 
Alternative flow chart for screening and diagnosis of COVID-19, where point-of-care testing for lymphocytes shortens the diagnostic steps.
Challenges in COVID-19 Outbreak and Mitigation Strategies
1. Avoid spread of infection, especially into risk groups.
2. Inpatient care becomes unsafe due to potential cross-infection 
3. Need for efficient screening of patients with suspected COVID-19 
Fever Clinics in Wuhan 
Temporary clinics e.g. in Nordics 
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing was time consuming just after the outbreak and did not aid clinical decision making.
We made trade-offs between infection control and standard medical principles and adapted the protocol as more information
and resources became available. 
Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19
1. Common clinical symptoms include fever, cough, myalgia or fatigue, expectoration and dysphnoea. 
2. Several studies have shown that a low lymphocyte count is common and in some cases severe. [1, 3-6]
3. Low lymphocyte count also impacts the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio with increased neutrophil percentage as a marker to observe. 
Lymphocyte Count as a Relevant Diagnostic Step for COVID-19
2. Lymphocyte count has been identified as an important factor in the diagnostic decision making process. 
3. Screening of asymptomatic cases may be one of the most important factor combating COVID-19.
1. Zhang et al., Therapeutic and triage strategies for 2019 novel coronavirus disease in fever clinics. The Lancet 2020, Mar Vol 8.
3. Huang et al., Clinical features of patients with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The Lancet 2020;395: 497-506.
4. W. Guan et al., Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. The New England Journal of Medicine 2020, Feb 28.
5. Qin C. et al., Dysregulation of immune response in patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Clinical Infectious Disease 2020, Mar 12.
6. Huang et al., 2019 novel coronavirus patient’s clinical characteristics, discharge rate and fatality rate of meta-analysis.