^ Back to Top

June 2013

Best Tests

Microbiological assessment of infected wounds: when to take a swab and how to interpret the results

Identifying and managing infection in wounds is an important aspect of primary care practice. However, many issues relating to the aetiology of infection and the sampling of wounds remain controversial, with limited expert consensus. Most wound infection is diagnosed clinically, with laboratory testing used to provide further information to guide management. It is only necessary to swab a wound if there are clinical signs of infection and the wound is deteriorating, increasing in size or failing to heal. Swabbing a wound that is not infected results in the unnecessary identification and analysis of organisms which are colonising the wound, rather than causing an infection. View Article

Interpreting urine dipstick tests in adults: a reference guide for primary care

A urine dipstick positive for haematuria or proteinuria is a relatively common occurrence in primary care. For many patients there may be a benign or transient explanation for their results, e.g. urinary tract infection, however, persistent positive results require further investigation. Management is determined by the presence of associated symptoms, risk factors for malignancy and additional investigations to identify an urological or nephrological cause. View Article