Acute cough is one of the most common illnesses in the UK, with an estimated 48 million cases per annum. The majority of these presentations are thought to be of viral aetiology and self-limiting in nature, yet some studies report antibiotic prescription rates of approximately 65% in the UK. Clincians' decision-making process can be influenced by both patient expectations and difficulty in differentiating between viral and bacterial aetiologies by clinical examination alone. This article will consider the feasibility, efficacy, benefits and limitations of using point-of-care testing of C-reactive protein within primary care in the United Kingdom to help inform management of acute cough.
Simon Searle-Barnes -
Peter Phillips -