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Hemoglobin Color Scale

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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Hemoglobin copy.jpg
Health Topic Maternal mortality
Classification Diagnosis
Scope Commercialized
Location Africa, Asia, South America

Problem being addressed[edit]

Early detection of hemorrhage can lead to better treatment and better outcomes for women in postpartum stress. Anemia is an early indicator of postpartum hemorrhage, but many methods of measurement are expensive and/or invasive, which can cause further infection or bleeding.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

This is a simple laboratory test strip that requires a drop of blood on an absorbent test strip. By comparing the color of the drop of blood to a booklet with possible shades of red, the user can assess the presence and severity of anemia.

Designed by[edit]

While this is a widely commercial laboratory tool, it was designed for detection of anemia in pregnant women by WHO with help from PATH. Manufacturer: It is now manufactured by Copack in Germany, licensed by WHO.

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

The Hemoglobin Color Scale (HbCS) became commercially available in 2011. Results have been reported from a field study at Ntcheu District Hospital in Malawi to compare costs compared to current methods and user-friendliness.


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Critchley, J. & Bates, I. 2005. Haemoglobin colour scale for anaemia diagnosis where there is no laboratory: a systematic review. Int J Epidemiology. 34(6), 1425-1434.

Full-text available here

Tatsumi, N., Bunyaratvej. A., Timan, I.S., Aujia, D., Funahara, Y., Sumiyoshi, A., Kondo, T., & Miwa, S. 1999. Field evaluation of WHO hemoglobin color scale in West Java. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 30(S), 177-181.

Abstract available here

Other internally generated reports[edit]

Department of Essential Health Technologies. Haemoglobin colour scale: operational research agenda and study design. World Health Organization: PDF available here

Approval by regulatory bodies or standards boards[edit]

CE approved. Not FDA approved for use in the USA.

... more about "Hemoglobin Color Scale"
Africa +, Asia +  and South America +
Commercialized +
Maternal mortality +