Potential streptococcal pharyngitis represents a common presenting complaint of patients in emergency departments. Studies have shown that therapy within thefirst 48 hours of presentation hastens the resolution of the infection. A prior analysis of the cost of treatment for potential streptococcal pharyngitis in an outpatient practice suggested that when the likelihood of a positive throat culture is high, therapy is more cost effective without a throat culture. The current analysis evaluates the effects of emergency department charges, incomplete follow-up, and several common screening tests (Gram stain, clinical scoring) upon the cost of treatment and the risk for rheumatic fever. The results of the current analysis support 1) the use of common screening tests to permit immediate oral or parenteral penicillin treatment of selected patients without a throat culture and 2) the use of a throat culture to detect false-negative screen results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine