Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7131.638 (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:638

Most children with cystic fibrosis now survive into adulthood, and over the past five years the numbers of patients attending adult specialist cystic fibrosis clinics have increased by about 50% (Thorax 1998;53:3-4). Many of these units get financial help from the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust and other charitable sources, but NHS planners seem to have made no provision for the rise in numbers of adult patients that can now be confidently predicted. Much can be done for these patients, but without funding of specialist units their care may drift into non-specialist hands.

Measuring the amount of haemoglobin in blood samples is one of the most basic clinical investigations, and a simple, cheap, reliable method is needed for use in developing countries, rural hospitals, and other settings that lack clinical laboratories and often electric power. The World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre for Haematology Technology in London believes it has developed such a test (Journal of Clinical Pathology 1998;51:21-4). The method compares the colour of blood placed on a standard type of paper with six colour shades in a device called the WHO Colour Scale. Pilot tests in Britain, South Africa, Thailand, and Switzerland have shown that the method gives good results at …

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