Evaluating a rapid test for diagnosing a childhood respiratory virus
Speeding up the diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus could reduce the spread of infection and produce cost savings for NHS hospitals.
It can take over 24 hours to receive a test result from a laboratory and confirm respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. This is the most common reason for a child to be admitted to hospital. The virus is highly contagious so there is a need for a fast and accurate diagnostic test for RSV to ensure appropriate use of isolation resources and prevent the spread of the infection.
We were funded by Roche Diagnostics to assess their cobas Liat system for diagnosing RSV near the beside at the Newcastle Great North Children’s Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The cobas Liat system was as good at detecting RSV infection as standard laboratory testing.
The waiting time for a test result was reduced, on average, to 36 minutes.
A potential saving in isolation resource use of half a day per patient if the test was used.
A predicted saving of £62/patient if the test was implemented.
- Use of the test could reduce the spread of infection.
- This would potentially save the NHS time and money, through optimising the use of isolation resources.
- Parent groups guided the study design and public facing information we developed.
- The project team were selected as finalists for a 2019 Bright Ideas In Health Award.
- Further collaboration with Roche around their test for Flu.
Parents shared their thoughts on the importance of a test for RSV:
“I think as a parent it gives you piece of mind knowing actually what’s wrong.”
“You don’t know what a child’s immune system is like and you could be putting them in danger.”