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Near-Patient Testing: The Advantages of C-Reactive Protein in Hematological Testing

er, results are comparable to those achieved in a laboratory. Recent data1 comparing results of near-patient and centralized laboratory-based tests for CRP and CBC analysis have demonstrated a clear correlation between the two, a well as a significant reduction in the turnaround time from sampling to result delivery in the former. Thus the relocation of such tests would not compromise the accuracy of results, but may offer distinct advantages compared with centralized laboratory-based tests.

Transfusion management:

Blood transfusions are performed regularly in patients with chronic bone marrow failure such as myelodysplasia. The management of conventional chemotherapy, with procedures such as blood transfusions, is based on a certain number of laboratory results. Transfusion strategies (red blood cells and platelet concentrates) rely on almost daily CBC monitoring in addition to screening for irregular agglutinins in transfusion cases or measuring markers of other vital functions in chemotherapy cases. In this context, the processing of such fundamental aids to decision making as the CBC and the CRP test may benefit from being closer to the patient, and there may be situations where CBCs must be double-checked or combined with a CRP assay. Recent evidence1 has implied that the rapid results obtained from near-patient testing can offer sound economic benefits in addition to improving patient care and prognosis. The percentage of unjustified red blood cell or platelet transfusions can potentially be reduced through a more precise monitoring system, which can provide options for alternative treatments. Administration of hematopoietic growth factor (G-CSF) is one such option. Results obtained from near-patient testing could allow both the length of time before G-CSF is prescribed and the duration of hospitalization to be shortened. In this way, both the associated risk of transfusion and its unnecessary cost are redu
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