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Point-of-Care Testing on a Mobile Medical Unit in Northern Thailand: Screening for Hyperglycemia, Hyperlipidemia, and Thalassemia Trait

Boonlert, Wanvisa PhD*; Kost, Gerald J. MD, PhD; Jiraviriyakul, Arunya MS*; Tangvarasittichai, Surapon PhD*

Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: December 2006 - Volume 5 - Issue 4 - p 164-167
doi: 10.1097/01.poc.0000232581.36762.21
Original Articles

The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) facilitates health care delivery for people in rural areas of Thailand by transporting a health care team and small laboratory directly to where they live. The goal of this study was to use the MMU and point-of-care testing to screen for hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and thalassemia trait. We measured glucose, total cholesterol, and triglyceride in serum using photometers on the MMU. Thalassemia trait was diagnosed by osmotic fragility (OF) and dichlorophenol-indophenol (DCIP) tests. We found that 10.7% of people screened had blood glucose higher than 110 mg/dL, and 5% had higher than 125 mg/dL. We found that 17.8% had total cholesterol higher than 250 mg/dL, and 32.0% had higher than 150 mg/dL. Of the samples, 37.5% yielded positive OF and DCIP tests; 20.2%, positive OF test only; 10.8%, positive DCIP only; and 31.5%, both negative. Heterozygous hemoglobin E was identified in 69 (52.7%) and homozygous hemoglobin E in 15 (11.4%) of 131 subjects. The Naresuan University MMU can be used efficiently with point-of-care testing for hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and thalassemia trait screening in public health.

From the *Department of Medical Technology, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; and †Point-of-Care Testing Center for Teaching and Research, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA.

Reprints: Wanvisa Boonlert, PhD, Department of Medical Technology, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand (e-mail: wanvisaboon@yahoo.com).

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.