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Reliability of capillary blood potassium measurements in children with acute gastroenteritis
  1. Jan Krzysztof Nowak1,
  2. Hanna Wielińska1,
  3. Michał Dąbrowski1,
  4. Paula Szydłowska1,
  5. Mariusz Szczepanik1,
  6. Patrycja Krzyżanowska1,
  7. Rémi Duclaux-Loras2,
  8. Jarosław Walkowiak1
  1. 1Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
  2. 2Service d’hépatologie, gastroentérologie et nutrition pédiatrique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital Femme Mère Enfant, Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jan Krzysztof Nowak, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan 60566, Poland; jan.nowak{at}

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Potassium concentration in children is commonly assessed via capillary blood. Although the risk of false hyperkalaemia due to cell lysis is widely acknowledged, the quantitative data regarding the accuracy of this measurement are lacking.1–3 The aim of our study was to compare potassium concentration in the capillary blood, taken in the emergency room, with that of the serum potassium once intravenous access was obtained on admission to the ward.

Health records (2006–2015) of patients discharged from Poznan University of Medical Sciences children’s hospital with the main diagnosis of acute gastroenteritis (AGE; n=1080; International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision: A09, A08.0, A08.2) were screened for the following inclusion criteria: potassium and sodium concentrations measured in the capillary blood before admission to the ward,1 in the serum on admission to the ward,2 and a difference in time of less than 4 hours between the results of capillary and venous blood analyses.3

Capillary blood potassium was …

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