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Each year, at least 280,000 children are born with sickle cell disease (SCD) in resource-limited settings. For cost, logistic and political reasons, the availability of SCD testing is limited in such settings and consequently 50-90 % of affected children die undiagnosed before their fifth birthday. The recent development of a point of care method for the diagnosis of SCD - the Sickle SCAN™ device - could afford such children the prompt access to appropriate services that has transformed the outlook for affected children in resource-rich areas. In research published in BMC Medicine, Kanter and colleagues describe a small but carefully conducted study involving 208 children and adults, in which they found that by using Sickle SCAN™ it was possible to diagnose the common forms of SCD with 99 % sensitivity and 99 % specificity, in under 5 minutes. If repeatable both in newborn babies and under real-life conditions, and if marketed at an affordable price, Sickle SCAN™ could revolutionize the survival prospects for children born with SCD in resource-limited areas.Please see related article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0473-6.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12916-015-0483-4

Type

Journal

BMC medicine

Publication Date

23/09/2015

Volume

13

Addresses

Department of Medicine, Imperial College, St Mary's Hospital, London, W2 1NY, UK. tom.williams@imperial.ac.uk.

Keywords

Humans, Anemia, Sickle Cell, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Point-of-Care Systems, Female, Male