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Haemoglobinopathy Screening


“Opportunistic” haemoglobinopathy screening (not including national antenatal or neonatal screening programmes)

Haemoglobinopathy screening indicated?
  • Family history of previous alpha/beta thalassaemia or haemoglobin variant
  • Anaemic or microcytic, NOT iron deficient, appropriate family origin
  • Red cell indices or morphological appearances are suggestive of a haemoglobinopathy
  • Pre-operative testing for at risk groups for HbS
  • HbA1c uninterpretable due to presence of variant Hb (as suggested by biochemistry report)
  • New arrival in UK with history of sickle cell/ beta thalassemia, or from “at risk” ethnic group
  • Single retest of teenager/ young adult previously identified as having variant Hb, a0 or b thal trait
Request “Haemoglobinopathy screen”

Include the following:

  • Clinical details/ reason for request
  • Ethnic origin (family origins, not place of birth)
  • Iron status if known (consider requesting ferritin if iron status not known)
On receipt of report
  • Document results in patient notes, to avoid retesting
  • For additional information/ guidance on interpretation, consult the GP gateway detailed guidance
  • Inform patient of results (whether positive or negative)
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