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Point of Care Testing and Transfusion Safety in Resource Limited Settings: A Review

Massimo La Raja, Roberto Musi, Mauro Fattorini, Elisa Piva and Giovanni Putoto

Worldwide, one of the fastest growing aspects of clinical laboratory testing is point of care testing (POCT). Decentralized patient care and access to testing in under-served areas are key elements in the evolving expansion of POCT. Several available POCT devices can potentially contribute to safer transfusion practices in resourcelimited settings. Only "rapid diagnostic tests" and some simple hemoglobinometers are normally encountered in the peripheral hospitals of low income countries. Strengths, weaknesses and barriers of large scale utilization of POCT in transfusion medicine are discussed.