Where have I been? Just a few minutes ago I had a patient come into the office, who bought an Over-the-counter (do it yourself strep test.) Now, let me voice my concern. There are specific ailments that could potentially cause a danger to your family member. In speaking with Ears, Nose and Throat specialists, they have had issues with strep tests being done for every patient with a complaint of a sore throat. Why? There are diagnoses such as epiglotitis, and tonsillar abscesses that could cause a very bad out come, even death. A small child with epiglottitis who is swabbed can cause laryngeal spasm, hence they will not be able to breath.
The vast majority of cases this would be a benign procedure. It will take one lawsuit, one punctured tonsillar abscess, one child’s death before these are off the market. I have not even addressed the accuracy, experience of doing the test and doing a good job swabbing both sides of the posterior pharynx.
What is the benefit? All the clinicians I have spoken to are going to do a confirmation test when the patient comes to the office anyway. At home strep tests. What is next? At home lung biopsies.