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Open Access Special Issue

Point-of-care testing as the future of pre-hospital emergency medicine: an overview

  • Lukasz SZARPAK1,2
  • Gabriella NUCERA3
  • Michal PRUC4
  • Olayinka Stephen ILESANMI5,6
  • Aanuoluwapo Adeyimika AFOLABI5
  • Francesco CHIRICO7,8

1Institute of Outcomes Research, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Medical Academy, 03-411 Warsaw, Poland

2Research Unit, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Bialystok Oncology Center, 15-027 Bialystok, Poland

3Department of Emergency, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, ASST Fatebenefratelli and Sacco, 20121 Milan, Italy

4Research Unit, Polish Society of Disaster Medicine, 05-806 Warsaw, Poland

5Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, 200212 Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

6Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, 200212 Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

7Post-graduate School of Occupational Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Rome, Italy

8Health Service Department, Italian State Police, Ministry of Interior, Italy

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.241

Submitted: 27 August 2021 Accepted: 22 October 2021

Online publish date: 13 December 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Francesco CHIRICO E-mail:


Point-of-care testing (POCT) plays an increasingly important role in pre-emergency medicine by ensuring that patient’s continuum of care is commenced before arrival at health facilities. Given the benefits of POCT during the COVID-19 pandemic, this commentary described the advantages and disadvantages of POCT, and its current practices in pre-hospital emergency medicine. Point-of-care tests are easy to operate, cost-effective, and yield quick and accurate response, but are posed with challenges such as safety errors, poor adherence to quality control standards, and inspection errors. To optimize the benefits of POCT in pre-emergency medicine, it is required that regular trainings are conducted for POCT operators, and total compliance to POCT handling and management guidelines should be considered by each POCT operator.


COVID-19; Emergency care; Emergency medicine; Point-of-care testing; Laboratory tests

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Lukasz SZARPAK,Gabriella NUCERA,Michal PRUC,Olayinka Stephen ILESANMI,Aanuoluwapo Adeyimika AFOLABI,Francesco CHIRICO. Point-of-care testing as the future of pre-hospital emergency medicine: an overview. Signa Vitae. 2022.doi:10.22514/sv.2021.241.


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