Anemia and Pregnancy, Blood Test for Hemoglobin Level

Anemia and PregnancyThe Importance of Early Detection

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes in order to provide for the needs of her baby. The amount of blood in her body increases by about 20 to 30 percent, which raises the supply of iron and vitamins needed to make hemoglobin. Unfortunately, many women lack the sufficient amount of iron needed for the second and third trimesters, resulting in anemia. Physicians like you play a vital role in screening pregnant women and high-risk patients for the presence of anemia

Statistics show that at least 20 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. have anemia, while one out of eight women will have iron deficiency for up to 12 months following delivery. While mild anemia is normal during pregnancy, the more severe form can lead to problems including premature delivery, longer labor, increased induction rates and low-birth-weight babies. It’s important to diagnose whether your patient is anemic early on in the pregnancy and to treat the condition appropriately. That way, she has a healthy hemoglobin level and sufficient iron stores to meet the extra demands of the gestation. (1) Malhotra M et al. Maternal and perinatal outcome in varying degrees of anemia.
Int J Gynecol Obstet 2002;79:93-100

An Accurate Diagnosis

The primary screening tests for anemia measure hemoglobin or hematocrit. However, to detect the presence of anemia, a hemoglobin count is all that is required because hemoglobin and hematocrit vary directly in proportion to one another in most clinical situations.  (2) Daae L NW. Routine, simultaneous measurement of both hemoglobin and hematocrit is not necessary.
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1998;118:414-415
  When the anemia is due to nutritional deficiency, hemoglobin alone provides a sensitive indication of therapeutic response.

The Benefits Point-of-Care Hemoglobin testing

Anemia is a symptom, not a disease. As the doctor to an expectant mother, you are the one she relies on during this important time.  And with the help of hemoglobin testing and point-of-care testing systems from HemoCue, you can immediately give her the best possible care. By using the HemoCue Hemoglobin system, the results are available while the patient is still present. If anemia is detected, sampling for additional laboratory tests can be performed during the same appointment.