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Negative predictive value of the FebriDx host response point-of-care test in patients presenting to a single Australian emergency department with suspected COVID-19: an observational diagnostic accuracy study
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  • Published on:
    Comparing the Febridx device in accident and emergency and general practice
    • Ian Charlton, General Practitioner Kincumber Doctors and University of Newcastle
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jodie Marquez, Senior Lecturer
      • Mark Hollands, General Practitioner
      • Michael Fenton, General Practitoner
      • Winston Latter, General Practitioner
      • Gillian Charlton, Practice Nurse

    It was interesting to read Buntine et al’s (1) experience with the Febridx Point of Care Device in the Accident and Emergency setting. They found a negative predictive value of 80% and a positive predictive value of 78%. The results from our study in general practice demonstrated a negative predictive value of 43%.

    We commenced the use of the Febridx device in an Australian general practice in November 2020, just prior to the outbreak of Covid 19. Our study used clinical follow up, rather than biological markers to determine Febridx effectiveness.

    Our study was designed to compare antibiotic prescribing in those doctors using the device to determine the difference between viral and bacterial illness compared to those doctors relying on their usual clinical skills. Our study was sabotaged by the advent of Covid 19 and the introduction of lockdowns, isolation, and telehealth. Like much of the country, we saw presentations for URTI’s and the subsequent use of all antibiotics, especially those associated with respiratory disease, decrease.

    Our six-doctor general practice used Best Practice clinical software to determine the number of antibiotics prescribed and the number of patients seen each month for each doctor.

    In the 6 months prior to covid epidemic, prescribing of respiratory antibiotics (Amoxycillin, Amoxycillin/Clavulanic acid, Cephalexin, Roxithromycin, Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Clindamycin, Ciproxin, penicillin) was 7.3 antibiotics...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.