Mandy Campbell provides an overview of the value of using CRP with FBC testing at the point of care, with examples of how this application can impact on antibiotic use in paediatric emergency care, in a frailty assessment centre to prevent unnecessary admissions, and its impact on influenza diagnosis.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a common blood test used to support clinical decision-making, particularly as a proxy indicator for the presence or absence of bacterial infection. When combined with full blood cell (FBC) count with white blood cell differentiation, it can aid the distinction between bacterial and viral illnesses. The test is normally performed in the laboratory, and once received the time to result can be up to 90 minutes. However, the time from needle to result can be considerably longer depending on patient and laboratory locations.
It is crucial to exclude bacterial infection and sepsis quickly in emergency care and in point-of-care (POC) clinics in order to obtain a swift diagnosis for appropriate therapy. This in turn also supports antimicrobial stewardship, not only for cost savings by reducing antibiotic usage but also addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges. For this reason, the rapid availability of laboratory-quality combined CRP and FBC measurements within a few minutes at the point of care would be highly beneficial.
Evidence-based diagnosis: measuring CRP
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