Improved strategy for screening prospective blood donors for anaemia

Transfus Med. 1994 Sep;4(3):221-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3148.1994.tb00275.x.


Women (568) and men (531) attending blood donation sessions in Wessex in September, 1992, were assessed for anaemia by the standard CuSO4 method on finger-prick (FP) blood samples. The haemoglobin (Hb) concentration on FP samples and on venous blood was also checked using the HemoCue. Different FP samples from the same donors revealed a wide variation on HemoCue. We recommend retaining the CuSO4 method on FP samples as the initial screen, and follow-up of apparent failures by determining the Hb concentration on venous sampling with the HemoCue. As 54% of females were found on venous samples to be below the current recommended threshold (125 g/L) for Hb concentration, we also recommend lowering the threshold to 115 g/L for women, and to 130 g/L for men. We further recommend a close re-examination of normal haematology values for adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / diagnosis*
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Blood Donors*
  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • Bloodletting
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Copper
  • Copper Sulfate
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Hemoglobinometry / economics
  • Hemoglobinometry / instrumentation
  • Hemoglobinometry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / economics
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Photometry / economics
  • Photometry / instrumentation
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Copper
  • Copper Sulfate