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Am J Emerg Med. 2011 Sep;29(7):840.e3-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.06.020. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Novel use of a urine pregnancy test using whole blood.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine New York Hospital-Queens of Cornell University, Queens, NY 11355, USA.


We present the case of a 35-year-old woman with hypotension and abdominal tenderness after acute vomiting and syncope. The patient had been breast-feeding since the birth of a child 8 months earlier, was not yet menstruating, and felt that she was having a reaction to sushi. She was unable to provide a urine sample during initial evaluation, and a drop of whole blood was therefore applied to a qualitative urine human chorionic gonadotropin point-of-care test. This test result was positive for pregnancy, ultrasound revealed free fluid in the abdominal cavity, and emergency laparotomy by our gynecologists confirmed ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Often, patients are too unstable or dehydrated to provide a urine sample; and serum human chorionic gonadotropin testing may be difficult to obtain in a timely fashion. This use of the point-of-care urine qualitative test has not been previously described and may be valuable in cases where rapid diagnosis is critical.

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