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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312350

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is now established, occurring at a time of winter pressure on acute care in the NHS. This is likely to be more challenging then the first wave for the diagnosis of COVID-19 because of the similar symptomology with other respiratory conditions highly prevalent in winter. This study sought to understand the care pathways in place in UK NHS hospitals during the first wave (March-July 2020) for identification of patients with COVID-19 and to learn lessons to inform optimal testing strategies within the COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Platform (CONDOR). Design: , setting & participants Sixteen hospital-based clinicians from 12 UK NHS Trusts covering 10 different specialties were interviewed following a semi-structured topic guide. Data were coded soon after the interviews and analysed thematically. Results: We developed a diagrammatic, high-level visualisation of the care pathway describing the main clinical decisions associated with the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected COVID-19. COVID-19 testing influenced infection control considerations more so than treatment decisions. Two main features of service provision influenced the patient management significantly: access to rapid laboratory testing and the number of single occupancy rooms. If time to return of result was greater than 24 hours, patients with a presumptive diagnosis would often be cohorted based on clinical suspicion alone. Undetected COVID-19 during this time could therefore lead to an increased risk of viral transmission. Conclusions: During the winter months, priority for provision of rapid testing at admission should be given to hospitals with limited access to laboratory services and single room availability. Access to rapid testing is essential for urgent decisions related to emergency surgery, maternity services and organ transplant. The pathway and prioritization of need will inform the economic modelling, clinical evaluations, and implementation of new clinical tests in UK.

2.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(7)2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323140

ABSTRACT

Acute ischemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusions (LVOs) is a major contributor to stroke deaths and disabilities; however, identification for emergency treatment is challenging. We recruited two separate cohorts of suspected stroke patients and screened a panel of blood-derived protein biomarkers for LVO detection. Diagnostic performance was estimated by using blood biomarkers in combination with NIHSS-derived stroke severity scales. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that D-dimer (OR 16, 95% CI 5-60; p-value < 0.001) and GFAP (OR 0.002, 95% CI 0-0.68; p-value < 0.05) comprised the optimal panel for LVO detection. Combinations of D-dimer and GFAP with a number of stroke severity scales increased the number of true positives, while reducing false positives due to hemorrhage, as compared to stroke scales alone (p-value < 0.001). A combination of the biomarkers with FAST-ED resulted in the highest accuracy at 95% (95% CI: 87-99%), with sensitivity of 91% (95% CI: 72-99%), and specificity of 96% (95% CI: 90-99%). Diagnostic accuracy was confirmed in an independent cohort, in which accuracy was again shown to be 95% (95% CI: 87-99%), with a sensitivity of 82% (95% CI: 57-96%), and specificity of 98% (95% CI: 92-100%). Accordingly, the combination of D-dimer and GFAP with stroke scales may provide a simple and highly accurate tool for identifying LVO patients, with a potential impact on time to treatment.

3.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 532, 2021 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249555

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is now established, occurring at a time of winter pressure on acute care in the NHS. This is likely to be more challenging then the first wave for the diagnosis of COVID-19 because of the similar symptomology with other respiratory conditions highly prevalent in winter. This study sought to understand the care pathways in place in UK NHS hospitals during the first wave (March-July 2020) for identification of patients with COVID-19 and to learn lessons to inform optimal testing strategies within the COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Platform (CONDOR). DESIGN, SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen hospital-based clinicians from 12 UK NHS Trusts covering 10 different specialties were interviewed following a semi-structured topic guide. Data were coded soon after the interviews and analysed thematically. RESULTS: We developed a diagrammatic, high-level visualisation of the care pathway describing the main clinical decisions associated with the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected COVID-19. COVID-19 testing influenced infection control considerations more so than treatment decisions. Two main features of service provision influenced the patient management significantly: access to rapid laboratory testing and the number of single occupancy rooms. If time to return of result was greater than 24 h, patients with a presumptive diagnosis would often be cohorted based on clinical suspicion alone. Undetected COVID-19 during this time could therefore lead to an increased risk of viral transmission. CONCLUSIONS: During the winter months, priority for provision of rapid testing at admission should be given to hospitals with limited access to laboratory services and single room availability. Access to rapid testing is essential for urgent decisions related to emergency surgery, maternity services and organ transplant. The pathway and prioritization of need will inform the economic modelling, clinical evaluations, and implementation of new clinical tests in UK.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217118

ABSTRACT

No routine laboratory biomarkers perform well enough in diagnosing COVID-19 in isolation for them to be used as a standalone diagnostic test or to help clinicians prioritize patients for treatment. Instead, other diagnostic tests are needed. The aim of this work was to statistically summarise routine laboratory biomarker measurements in COVID-19-positive and -negative patients to inform future work. A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed. The search included names of commonly used, routine laboratory tests in the UK NHS, and focused on research papers reporting laboratory results of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. A random effects meta-analysis of the standardized mean difference between COVID-19-positive and -negative groups was conducted for each biomarker. When comparing reported laboratory biomarker results, we identified decreased white blood cell, neutrophil, lymphocyte, eosinophil, and platelet counts; while lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were elevated in COVID-19-positive compared to COVID-19-negative patients. Differences were identified across a number of routine laboratory biomarkers between COVID-19-positive and -negative patients. Further research is required to identify whether routine laboratory biomarkers can be used in the development of a clinical scoring system to aid with triage of patients.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0242125, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922707

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent requirement to identify which clinical settings are in most need of COVID-19 tests and the priority role(s) for tests in these settings to accelerate the development of tests fit for purpose in health and social care across the UK. This study sought to identify and prioritize unmet clinical needs for COVID-19 tests across different settings within the UK health and social care sector via an online survey of health and social care professionals and policymakers. Four hundred and forty-seven responses were received between 22nd May and 15th June 2020. Hospitals and care homes were recognized as the settings with the greatest unmet clinical need for COVID-19 diagnostics, despite reporting more access to laboratory molecular testing than other settings. Hospital staff identified a need for diagnostic tests for symptomatic workers and patients. In contrast, care home staff expressed an urgency for screening at the front door to protect high-risk residents and limit transmission. The length of time to test result was considered a widespread problem with current testing across all settings. Rapid tests for staff were regarded as an area of need across general practice and dental settings alongside tests to limit antibiotics use.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Health Services Needs and Demand , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Hospitals , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom
6.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 346, 2020 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-908264

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are pivotal to detecting current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and duration of detectable virus indicating potential for infectivity. METHODS: We conducted an individual participant data (IPD) systematic review of longitudinal studies of RT-PCR test results in symptomatic SARS-CoV-2. We searched PubMed, LitCOVID, medRxiv, and COVID-19 Living Evidence databases. We assessed risk of bias using a QUADAS-2 adaptation. Outcomes were the percentage of positive test results by time and the duration of detectable virus, by anatomical sampling sites. RESULTS: Of 5078 studies screened, we included 32 studies with 1023 SARS-CoV-2 infected participants and 1619 test results, from - 6 to 66 days post-symptom onset and hospitalisation. The highest percentage virus detection was from nasopharyngeal sampling between 0 and 4 days post-symptom onset at 89% (95% confidence interval (CI) 83 to 93) dropping to 54% (95% CI 47 to 61) after 10 to 14 days. On average, duration of detectable virus was longer with lower respiratory tract (LRT) sampling than upper respiratory tract (URT). Duration of faecal and respiratory tract virus detection varied greatly within individual participants. In some participants, virus was still detectable at 46 days post-symptom onset. CONCLUSIONS: RT-PCR misses detection of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection; early sampling minimises false negative diagnoses. Beyond 10 days post-symptom onset, lower RT or faecal testing may be preferred sampling sites. The included studies are open to substantial risk of bias, so the positivity rates are probably overestimated.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
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