April 15, 2021

ICU doctors warn of 30% of false negatives by PCR in hospitalized

Experts from the Spanish Society of Intensive, Critical Medicine and Coronary Units (Semicyuc) have warned that false negatives by PCR can reach 30% in patients hospitalized for coronavirus, so the clinical decision cannot be limited to the result of this technique.

In an online seminar, doctors have generally warned of the existing shortcomings in order to be able to tackle COVID-19 infection with guarantees, Semicyuc has reported in a statement.

According to Dr. David Navarro Ortega, head of the Microbiology service at the Hospital Clínico de Valencia, the diagnosis cannot be simplified with the mere result of a PCR (the most reliable technique to detect the virus) or an antibody test.

In fact, it influenced the idea that testing positive does not imply being contagious, and that the reappearance of RNA (genetic material of many viruses) in cured patients does not necessarily imply reinfection.

The real efficacy of the antivirals used so far is also yet to be confirmed, according to Dr. Emili Díaz Santos, from the Intensive Medicine service of the Hospital Consorci Sanitari Parc Taulí in Barcelona.

The intensivist has argued the lack of studies with large samples of seriously ill patients, although he advises the very early start of antivirals to lower the viral load associated with a poor prognosis.

For his part, Dr. Pablo Vidal Cortés, from the Ourense University Hospital Complex, explained that there is no homogeneous inflammatory pattern in all seriously ill patients, nor is there any treatment available with minimal scientific evidence, which will force to establish highly personalized treatments. .

Infection by multiresistant bacteria is one of the “collateral damages” of the coronavirus, according to Dr. Pedro Rascado, coordinator of the Semicyuc Contingency Plan before COVID-19 and intensivist of the University Hospital Complex of Santiago de Compostela.


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