Appropriately timed COVID-19 PCR testing for hospital inpatients (2021)

Type of publication:Conference abstract

Author(s):*Raffeeq Z.; *Ahmad N.; *Crawford E.; *Dev D.; *Makan A.; *Srinivasan K.; *Moudgil H.

Citation:European Respiratory Journal 2021; 58: Suppl. 65, PA448

Abstract:Background: Nosocomial spread of Coronavirus has been an issue for hospitals across the UK, with a recent report by Public Health England (PHE) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) stating that the effective reproduction rate of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals has been projected to have been as high as 14 during the first wave of the pandemic [1]. In order to stifle this spread hospital Infection and Prevention Control (IPC) set out regular guidelines concerning when patients should be tested for COVID-19.
Aims and objectives: We attempted to assess how well our trust followed the IPC guidance for testing patients for COVID-19, specifically with regard to swab timing following admission to hospital.
Methods: We analysed all admissions to the hospital during the week of 1st October 2020 to the 7th October 2020. We looked at how many patients were appropriately swabbed on day 1, and day 5, as was required according to IPC guidance at the time.
Results: We found that of the 266 patients admitted in the said week, 4 patients (1.5%) had a swab greater than 24 hours after admission, and 17 (6.39%) patients did not have a PCR swab at all. 148 patients stayed in hospital 5 days or greater, with 19 patients (17.27%) receiving their second swab correctly on day 5 of admission and 91 patients (82.73%) either not having their swab on the correct day or not having a follow up swab at all.
Conclusion: While testing on entry was generally done in a timely manner, follow-up swabs are not performed according to the guidelines set out by IPC, and therefore not following evidence-based practice.

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