VetScan HM5 Haematology System Support

hm5My HM5 is giving pneumatical errors – what does this mean?

In simplest terms this means that there is an issue with the reagents either entering the analyser from the pack, or flowing freely through the analyser internals. If you experience this error, first check the pack;

  1. Are there any obstructions on the reagent pack?
  2. Are any of the tubes kinked? (Top tip: placing the pack on the floor makes it easier to check all tubes)
  3. Are all the connectors fastened correctly?

If you are confident that the pack is the not the option – check the inside of the analyser. Opening the side and back doors, check for visible signs of blockage or if any of the tubes appear red. Poor sample quality can cause blockages.

If there are no signs of blockage, re-try the sample/blank. If error persists call Support on 01904 488507.


How can I avoid platelet clumping?

Platelet clumping is a fairly common occurrence, especially in feline samples. This clumping may prevent accurate counting by both automated systems and manual slide counting. There are, however, a number of methods you may employ to minimise platelet clumping.

Preventative Measures

  1. Draw sample from medial saphenous vein while the cat is held in a lateral recumbent position; stroke gently to reduce stress.
  2. Draw sample directly into EDTA tube (e.g. Monovette system) and mix thoroughly, immediately (or transfer immediately to EDTA tube from syringe and mix thoroughly).

Even with these preventative measures, feline platelet clumping is not always avoidable but can be minimised


What is a blank and why is it needed?

A blank measurement checks the cleanliness of the VetScan HM5 fluidics systems, and is used to establish a baseline for sample measurements. The results of a blank are used to determine if the background will affect the test results, and whether the analyser needs cleaning or maintenance. A blank must be run every 12 hours. Each blank measurement remains valid for 12 hours of continuous operation, after which the analyser displays “BLANK needed,” and a new blank must be run. Acceptable blank measurement readings, which match the criteria below, must be accepted to reset the instrument.

WBC <0.5 x 10e3 cells/μl
HB <10 g/l
RBC <0.05 x10e6 cells/μl
PLT <25 x10e3 cells/μl
EOS <0.1 x10e3 cells/μl


I just changed my reagent pack and my VetScan HM5 still says the reagents are empty or out of date.

The reagent status needs to be reset. Press Utilities, Maintenance, reagent status, change. This will reset the volume to 100% for the reagents and 0% for waste and change the install date to today’s date.


My VetScan HM5 has the message, “One or more of your reagent sensors has been disabled.” What should I do?

This message is informing you that one of the sensors used to detect the reagents flowing into the VetScan HM5 has been turned off. In order to achieve the most accurate test results, it is advised to turn on all the sensors and calibrate. To do this, select Utilities, Settings, Fluid Sensors. Ensure all the sensors are turned on by filling in the black box to the left of the sensor name; then calibrate the sensors.