Less than 50% of suspected pneumonia patients in the ICU are tested for respiratory viruses: 4 insights

A study, published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, examined the practice of testing patients coming into the intensive care unit with suspected pneumonia for respiratory virus infections. The study found that less than half of patients admitted were tested for viral pathogens.

The Dutch observational study included 1,452 patients, of which 712 patients were admitted to the ICU with community-acquired pneumonia and 740 patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia. The patients stayed in the ICU for more than 24 hours.

Here are four insights:

1. Of the 712 CAP patients, 40 percent were tested for respiratory viruses.

2. In the HAP group, 13 percent of the 740 patients were tested.

3. Regardless of the season, virus diagnostic tests were ordered significantly more often in patients with comorbidities, and in those with higher C-reactive protein levels and leucopenia.

4. Among patients who were tested during the influenza season, 14 percent of CAP patients and 10 percent of HAP patients had influenza.

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