Role of POC CRP during the pandemic

Being able to streamline local healthcare and reduce unnecessary A&E and hospital admissions for frail and vulnerable patients has never been more relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Point-of-care CRP haematology analysers, installed in locations across Cornwall, are helping to reduce trips to hospital or get people home sooner, as Mandy Campbell reports.

At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT), in partnership with the Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust, purchased and installed five new Microsemi CRP point-of-care (POC) haematology analysers (Horiba UK). The installation of these POC analysers across Cornwall is now enabling patients to have pathology tests performed locally by clinical staff in acute and community settings, rather than visiting the main Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. 

The Microsemi CRP (Fig. 1) can simultaneously deliver full blood count (FBC) plus CRP results to support the rapid near-patient distinction between bacterial and viral illnesses, as well as other acute applications highlighted in the scientific literature. For example, for triage, in addition to the early recognition of sepsis, CRP can assist in: guiding subsequent investigation in children with unexplained limping or pseudoparalysis; the detection and differential diagnosis of acute abdominal syndromes, particularly appendicitis; and recently risk stratification and management of Coronavirus patients. 

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