Volume 99, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Devices to safely transfer fixed amounts of finger prick blood to rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) pose a significant challenge, especially in non-laboratory settings. Following the success of an “inverted cup device” for transfer of 5 μL blood, a prototype with a conical cup shape was developed for transfer of 20 μL blood, the amount needed for human immunodeficiency virus or human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) RDTs. This study determined the volume of blood transferred by this new blood transfer device (BTD) and compared its ease of use, safety, and acceptability with that of a plastic pipette when used by health workers (HWs) for HAT RDTs in northwestern Uganda. After a half-day training, 48 HWs had used the two BTDs with at least 10 patients. The conical cup BTD effectively transferred a mean of 22.76 μL of blood (standard deviation 3.31 μL). A significantly higher proportion of HWs were able to collect the full amount of blood using the conical cup BTD, as compared with the pipette (92.4% versus 74.2%, < 0.001). In HW questionnaires, the conical cup BTD scored higher than the pipette in various aspects of ease of use and safety. In addition, HWs preferred the conical cup BTD (79%), indicating that it was easy to handle, made work faster, and increased their confidence in front of the patient. These findings suggest that the design of the conical cup BTD may be adapted for RDTs requiring 20 μL of blood to facilitate safe and accurate blood transfer.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 12 Sep 2017
  • Accepted : 02 Jun 2018
  • Published online : 16 Jul 2018

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