The winter flu season brings added pressure to emergency and acute hospital services. In the UK, children and infants account for more than a third of flu related hospital admissions since flu and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) can be particularly severe in children, particularly those with existing conditions such as asthma.
In our recent paper published, we report the results of a real-world evaluation conducted in a busy children’s hospital in central London. We assessed the impact and economic benefits of using a 90-minute point-of-care (POC) assay to test for influenza and RSV in children and infants admitted to hospital. This was done by comparing data collected from an acute paediatric ward during one flu season, when standard laboratory testing was used, with data collected from the same ward in the subsequent flu season, when the POC test was in use.