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Response to venepuncture for monitoring in primary schools.
  1. J Hammond,
  2. S Chinn,
  3. H Richardson,
  4. R Rona
  1. Department of Public Health Medicine, United Medical School, Guy's Hospital, London.


    The feasibility and acceptability of collecting blood from children by venepuncture was assessed in a sample of 593 children from seven primary schools in Canterbury. Venepuncture is necessary to obtain blood for the measurement of haemoglobin, ferritin, and cholesterol in line with Department of Health surveys in England. Return of consent forms was 87%; 75% of parents in the total sample allowed their child to be tested. Response rates differed between schools. Only 4% of eligible children refused to participate at the time of testing. In 22 (3.7%) children a blood sample could not be obtained or the volume was insufficient for analysis. There was a significant difference in the failure rate between phlebotomists. Venepuncture in the school setting was technically feasible and acceptable. The reluctance of some groups in the community to participate may bias the sample.

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