American Committee Suggests Stopping the Screening of Asymptomatic Hospital Patients For COVID - medtigo



American Committee Suggests Stopping the Screening of Asymptomatic Hospital Patients For COVID

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If there are no signs of the COVID-19 virus, a committee of national experts on infection control suggests that U.S. health care facilities stop testing patients for COVID-19 prior to hospital admission or surgery.  

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) has issued a statement stating that facilities should instead focus on strengthened infection prevention layers.  

As per US News, Dr. Thomas Talbot stated, “The limited potential benefits of asymptomatic testing at this point in the pandemic are outweighed by the possible harms of delays in procedures, delays in patient transfers, and strains on laboratory capacity and people.”

He is the head hospital epidemiologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and a board member of SHEA. “Because certain tests can detect residual virus for an extended length of time, persons who test positive may not be infectious,” Talbot explained.  

According to the SHEA board, there is insufficient evidence that asymptomatic testing reduces COVID-19 infections connected with health care. The board members stated in a society news release that these testing requirements might have a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to care and testing resources.  

The authors of the declaration referenced other studies, including one from a specialized hospital that estimated the cost of detecting one asymptomatic COVID-19 patient to be more than $12,560. According to SHEA, further research discovered that asymptomatic COVID-19 testing added approximately 2 hours to a hospital emergency room stay.  

The committee asserted that practices should be guided by risk assessments that include targeted scenarios, patient demographics, or locations that may necessitate further interventions.  

To minimize infections, the proposal advises universal use of N95 respirators during specific procedures, screening of providers for symptoms of COVID-19, physical design that reduce shared patient rooms, and improved cleaning and ventilation. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology published the report on December 21. 

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