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911DOC
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I was wondering if anyone here knows much about the Hemocue

Customer Question

I was wondering if anyone here knows much about the Hemocue 201 meter for measuring hemoglobin
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

I'm Camille, and I’m a moderator for this topic.

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Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.

The answer is that it is not as good as traditional methods, but is probably useful for establishing trends in the hemoglobin concentration. There is some disagreement in the literature... First reference states hemocue is not as accurate as the coox method, second reference more favorable for hemocue.

HERE IS A GOOD REFERENCE FOR YOU

SECOND REFERENCE

 

Translated, first reference stated this means that hemocue generally produces numbers that are falsely low, but that the low numbers are probably not significant in most patients. Patients at the extremes of hemoglobin concentration are at risk from having falsely low measurement, but, again, for watching trends of hemoglobin it is probably a decent alternative to the traditional lab.

 

Second reference does not find these problems.

 

In short, it depends on why you are using it and the variation from the lab method will not usually be of clinical significance.

 

I am standing by for your questions if you have any. If this has been a good answer for you then positive feedback is appreciated.

 

Best

 

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for all the information. The second article was better for hermocue. I'm anemic so I use the meter quite a bit. It seems to be 96g/L most of the time. How much should I trust the results?

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.

I think the variability versus the lab test would only be of concern if you are severely anemic. It is probably very useful, as mentioned, to establish a trend. In other words, if you see your counts persistently dropping that should prompt a visit to your doctor. If your results over time are stable that is of value as the meter is very accurate, simply not as accurate as the traditional lab measures. Also, if your symptoms of anemia are worsening and your meter is not showing a drop that would also be a reason to check with your physician.

 

Best

 

 

911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5084
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
911DOC and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thanks so much. You've been a big help.

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
you are most welcome :)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I just got my blood work done and it turned out HGB 113, Hematocrit 31 and RBC 3.64. My meter reads HGB 101g/l. My HGB should be 103 when considering my htc at 31. Does that sound right to you?

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
That's well within the margin of error and show that, at least in this case, that the hemocue does a pretty good job of tracking your blood count.

Best
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

so I should go with the 103 rather than the 113?

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
I'm not sure I understand. The lab value is more accurate but the differences are not significant. If tie hemocue is being used at home to keep track of your approximate hemoglobin and hematocrit then is is doing a pretty good job. In your case trends are important. The actual numbers less so.

Best
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I can see how the trend are more important. What I meant was if you look at my hematocrit at 31 then my hemoglobin should be 103 which is what I'm now testing at home compared to the lab at 113 which would have a higher hematocrit.

The hgb at 113 would have a hematocrit of 39, but the lab measurement is 31.

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
I think you are making two errors here.... The first is in assuming a direct relationship between the hemoglobin and hematocrit. It is true that the hematocrit is roughly three times the hemoglobin. The key is 'roughly'... there are inherent differences in how both are measured.

I must confess I don't think I am understanding your question at this point. If you like I can open this question for another expert.

Again, getting the numbers exactly right is not important for you. As an Emergency Physician I would want to know your hemoglobin within a point or so and your hematocrit within a few points. Anything in the ballpark is helpful. Understand that your hematocrit will vary even with your hydration status. For instance, if I were to give you two liters of fluid IV then your hematocrit, a few hours later, would be a point or two lower due to increased blood volume with the same number of red cells. Conversely, if you were to get very dehydrated your measured hematocrit would rise due to increased red blood cell concentration relative to the total blood volume.

My point is, for your purposes, tracking your anemia, your SYMPTOMS are more important than your numbers with the EXCEPTION that, if you show a clear downward trend over many measurements, THAT is important as well.

best
911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5084
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
911DOC and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I think I understand. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Hi. I went to see my doctor yesterday and he said the numbers could be way out on the big machines too. My last test I had done at our hospital but usually I go to lifelabs at my clinic. He said to stick to one lab so that the results won't be so confusing. He also said to use my meter between tests as it should be fairly accurate.

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.

excellent. great. hope you have some peace with this issue now.

 

Best

911doc

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

yes I feel much better. Thanks again for your help!!!

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
;)
911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5084
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
911DOC and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Hi. I just got my lab test results. My RBC was 3.56, hematocrit 30 and hemoglobin 10.1. I tested with my machine just before the lab and it was 10.1 too. Should I be worried?

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
I don't understand what you would be worries about. Your hematocrit did drop by a point. This means nothing, again, unless it represents a trend of consistently decreasing hematocrits. People whose hematocrits drop below 25 are sometimes given a transfusion based on how they are feeling and the presence or absence of other diseases. On short, don't worry, and don't check every day as there is a margin of error on these tests.

Best
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

hi. I was actually more worried about my hemoglobin being 101 but Thank you anyway.

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
As we have discussed, the hemoglobin and hematocrit are, in most cases, used almost interchangeably. Typically the hematocrit is roughly three times the hemoglobin value, which it is in this case. So the above answer is correct, and a transfusion would be at least considered if the hemoglobin dropped into the low 8 range.

Best
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thanks again. Yes, these numbers make more sense. Lets hope my hemoglobin doesn't get that low. Last year my hemoglobin was really low and I was in the hospital for a week !!!

Expert:  911DOC replied 9 months ago.
I hope they hold steady.

best

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