Using procalcitonin testing to guide treatment decisions in care homes
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Using procalcitonin testing to guide treatment decisions in care homes

Kim Barron Advanced nurse practitioner, The Erskine Home, Bishopton, Scotland

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge of the biomedical marker procalcitonin (PCT)

  • To understand how and when PCT testing is undertaken

  • To identify the potential benefits of using PCT testing in care homes

Procalcitonin (PCT), a precursor of the hormone calcitonin, has emerged as a marker of bacterial infection that appears to be particularly useful in respiratory conditions. PCT testing has been shown to be beneficial in supporting healthcare professionals with their decision-making about treatment. It also has particular advantages in relation to the care of older people, notably in terms of assessment, recognising sepsis, reducing polypharmacy and informing antibiotic prescribing.

This article discusses PCT testing in care homes and how its use can support nurses working in such settings to provide optimal care to residents. The article is underpinned by the latest evidence on PCT testing and the author’s clinical experience as an advanced nurse practitioner working in a care home.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1403

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

Kim.Barron@erskine.org.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Barron K (2022) Using procalcitonin testing to guide treatment decisions in care homes. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1403

Published online: 24 August 2022

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