New York doctors desperate for high-speed flu tests

New York doctors are in desperate need of high-speed flu tests after the Food and Drug Administration banned two top brands at the height of a deadly flu season, according to a report Friday.

Medical suppliers face a serious shortage of the rapid flu tests, which can detect the virus within 10 minutes through a nasal swab, health officials told the Daily Mail.

“It’s a crisis,” said Michael Einhorn, president of Dealmed-Park Surgical, the largest medical supply distributor in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

“We have totally exhausted our stock and have physicians begging for the product on the phones and [we] need to turn them away,” he told the paper.

The shortage comes after the FDA pulled two top rapid flu test brands from the market over false positives, forcing doctors to use slower, three-day blood tests.

This year’s flu season has killed at least 37 children and is on track to becoming one of the worst in recent history, according to past reports.

Dealmed-Park Surgical, which provides medical supplies to more than 4,000 physicians offices and urgent care facilities, shipped out up to 30,000 of the rapid flu tests in the past week, Einhorn said.

But the firm failed to provide at least 20,000 of the tests because the company simply didn’t have enough of them, he said, adding the they are now on back-order.

The orders for the tests are through the roof this year, he said.

“For a typical flu season we maybe have half of those orders. This season we’re doubling our volume,” he said.

The FDA removed two rapid flu test brands, Osom and QuickVue, from the market because they performed “poorly, resulting in many misdiagnosed cases.”

In January 2017, the FDA gave the rapid flu test manufactures one year to develop new kits. But slow production has left doctors empty-handed.

Flu hospitalizations soared to 41.9 per 100,000 this week, according to the CDC.

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/01/26/new-york-doctors-desperate-for-high-speed-flu-tests/

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