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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-136

World Health Organization hemoglobin color scale: A useful point-of-care test to detect anemia

1 Department of Pathology, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Trauma and Emergency Medicine, Military Hospital, Alwar, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Manoj Gopal Madakshira
Department of Pathology, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Anemia is a global problem with higher prevalence in India. Anemia is known to affect endurance and will have a direct impact on the productivity of combatants. Hence, it is important to recognize and treat anemia in combatants. A cost-effective point-of-care test in the hands of the primary health-care provider will be a useful tool for diagnosis of anemia. This study endeavors to validate a point-of-care hemoglobin test-World Health Organization (WHO) hemoglobin colur scale (HbCS) against the gold standard test (GST) of cyan methhemoglobin method. Materials and Methods: The test validation study was conducted at a mid-zonal peripheral hospital. The participants were assessed for hemoglobin status by the WHO HbCS at the Outpatient department by means of capillary blood sample using a lancet. Subsequently, venous blood sample was drawn and processed by GST at the hospital laboratory. The hemoglobin values obtained were statistically analyzed. Results: A total of 200 participants were included in the study with a predominant age group of 19–40 years with most belonging to the male sex. The HbCS showed a mean difference of 1.21 g/dl in comparison with GST. The study showed HbCS to have a high sensitivity and negative predictive value. The ideal cutoff value was found to be 12 g/dl having the maximum area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Conclusion: HbCS is an effective diagnostic tool to assess mild to moderate anemia in a resource-poor setting.

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