Herington Hospital bought questionable tests
Herington Hospital may have been stung when it bought 500 tests a salesman said would tell if patients had COVID-19 within half an hour.
The rapid results of the blood-based test would eliminate long waits for typical COVID-19 nose swab test results, the hospital was told.
When the test kits arrived, the hospital posted on its website that patients could call the Herington or Hillsboro clinics to schedule a test.
“These test kits are different from what we had available in the state as these actually test your blood and will not only tell you if you have the active virus but will also tell you if you have immunity, while the swabs test mucous from the sinuses for the active virus only. If you want to be tested because you fear you’ve been exposed; think you may have had the virus in the recent past or are having symptoms, call the Herington Healthcare Clinic 785-258-5130 or Hillsboro Healthcare Clinic 620-877-4305 and call for an appointment with one of our providers and to be tested,” the website posting reads.
The tests, however, are not believed to be reliable by Kansas health officials. A positive result could mean the patient has had any of four other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, officials say.
Marion County health nurse Diedre Serene said Kansas Department of Health and Environment only counts laboratory-confirmed nasal swab tests.
“Serology testing needs to be in conjunction with the nasal swab in order for it to be counted as a confirmed case,” Serene said.
Serene said KDHE is continuing research and other tests could be approved in the future.
Herington Hospital CEO Isabel Schmedemann told National Public Radio last week that 100 patients had been given the test by then.
As of Tuesday, 2,025 Kansans have tested positive for COVID-19, 419 of them hospitalized, and 107 have died.
Schmedemann did not respond to a message left on her voice mail Tuesday evening.