Point-of-care estimation of haemoglobin concentration in neonates and infants

Elise Schapkaitz, Johnny Ndoni Mahlangu, Matime Letsoalo


Objective. The HemoCue is a point-of-care analytical system for haemoglobin concentration (Hb) measurement. Point-of-care testing has been validated in hospitals and outpatient departments to assist with urgent patient management by providing rapid laboratory test results.
Method. In this prospective study we compared the analytical performance of the HemoCue with that of the Advia 120 haematology analyser with regard to accuracy, precision and linearity in the measurement of Hb in neonates and infants.
Results. Samples from 44 patients were analysed by both instruments and the results compared using difference plots. The mean Hb value for the HemoCue (11.8 g/dl; range 4.8 - 18.7) was comparable to that for the Advia (11.8 g/dl; range 5.2 - 19.2). The Bland-Altman difference plot revealed good agreement. Bias between the two methods was small and the imprecision was within acceptable limits. Hb measurement was linear in the range 4.8 - 20 g/dl.
Conclusion. In neonates and infants, the diagnostic accuracy of the HemoCue point of care device is comparable to that of the Advia 120 analyser. In neonatal and paediatric units, where the volume of blood available is limited and turnaround time critical, an appropriately quality-assured HemoCue can replace standard haematology analysers in the measurement of Hb.

Authors' affiliations

Elise Schapkaitz, University of Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory Service

Johnny Ndoni Mahlangu, University of Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory Service

Matime Letsoalo, National Health Laboratory Service

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haemoglobinometry; point of care testing; anaemia screening

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2012;6(1):10-11.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-01-10
Date published: 2012-02-24

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