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Point of care estimation of haemoglobin in neonates
  1. Lucy E Hinds1,
  2. Caroline L Brown2,
  3. Simon J Clark3
  1. 1Paediatric Department, Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust
    Barnsley, UK
  2. 2Academic Unit of Child Health, Sheffield Children’s Hospital
    Sheffield, UK
  3. 3The Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital
    Sheffield, UK
  1. Dr Lucy E Hinds, Paediatric Department, Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK; markandlucyhinds{at}


Objective: To evaluate whether measurement of haemoglobin concentration in neonates using point of care testing agrees with laboratory measurement.

Design: 127 paired blood samples taken from babies on a neonatal intensive care unit for full blood count and blood gas analysis by point of care testing were reviewed according to current practice. A comparison was made between the laboratory and blood gas analyser haemoglobin measurements to assess limits of agreement and look for any systematic difference.

Setting: Neonatal Unit, Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK

Patients: Babies staying on the neonatal unit, who currently have contemporaneous blood samples taken for full blood count and blood gas analysis by point of care testing.

Intervention: Results from blood samples were reviewed.

Main outcome measure: Comparison between laboratory and point of care testing haemoglobin concentrations.

Results: The mean laboratory haemoglobin concentration was 155 g/l (range 30–226 g/l); the mean point of care testing haemoglobin concentration was 157 g/l (range 30–228 g/l). The mean (SD) difference between paired samples was 2 (11) g/l; 95% CI −4.0 to 0.1 g/l; and limits of agreement −23 to 19 g/l.

Conclusions: The blood gas analyser on the neonatal unit at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, gives a useful estimation of haemoglobin concentration compared with laboratory measurement, with smaller sample volume. Although this does not replace a full blood count, it is a useful adjunct to neonatal care monitoring.

  • point of care testing (POCT)
  • haemoglobin concentration
  • neonatal unit
  • anaemia
  • blood gas analyser

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  • Competing interests: None.