Prognostic accuracy of triage tools for adults with suspected COVID-19 in a prehospital setting: an observational cohort study

MARINCOWITZ, Carl, SUTTON, Laura, STONE, Tony, PILBERY, Richard, CAMPBELL, Richard, THOMAS, Benjamin, TURNER, Janette, BATH, Peter A, BELL, Fiona, BIGGS, Katie, HASAN, Madina, HOPFGARTNER, Frank, MAZUMDAR, Suvodeep, PETRIE, Jennifer and GOODACRE, Steve (2022). Prognostic accuracy of triage tools for adults with suspected COVID-19 in a prehospital setting: an observational cohort study. Emergency Medicine Journal.

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BACKGROUND: Tools proposed to triage patient acuity in COVID-19 infection have only been validated in hospital populations. We estimated the accuracy of five risk-stratification tools recommended to predict severe illness and compared accuracy to existing clinical decision making in a prehospital setting. METHODS: An observational cohort study using linked ambulance service data for patients attended by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) crews in the Yorkshire and Humber region of England between 26 March 2020 and 25 June 2020 was conducted to assess performance of the Pandemic Respiratory Infection Emergency System Triage (PRIEST) tool, National Early Warning Score (NEWS2), WHO algorithm, CRB-65 and Pandemic Medical Early Warning Score (PMEWS) in patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. The primary outcome was death or need for organ support. RESULTS: Of the 7549 patients in our cohort, 17.6% (95% CI 16.8% to 18.5%) experienced the primary outcome. The NEWS2 (National Early Warning Score, version 2), PMEWS, PRIEST tool and WHO algorithm identified patients at risk of adverse outcomes with a high sensitivity (>0.95) and specificity ranging from 0.3 (NEWS2) to 0.41 (PRIEST tool). The high sensitivity of NEWS2 and PMEWS was achieved by using lower thresholds than previously recommended. On index assessment, 65% of patients were transported to hospital and EMS decision to transfer patients achieved a sensitivity of 0.84 (95% CI 0.83 to 0.85) and specificity of 0.39 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.40). CONCLUSION: Use of NEWS2, PMEWS, PRIEST tool and WHO algorithm could improve sensitivity of EMS triage of patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. Use of the PRIEST tool would improve sensitivity of triage without increasing the number of patients conveyed to hospital.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: emergency care systems; COVID-19; triage; risk management; emergency ambulance systems; COVID-19; emergency ambulance systems; emergency care systems; risk management; triage; 1103 Clinical Sciences; 1110 Nursing; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Emergency & Critical Care Medicine
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 16:30

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