Recognizing which patients with COVID-19 will require hospitalization has been something of a crapshoot unless one presents in obvious distress. That may be changing, however, thanks to a new tool that is purported to aid in predicting who is likely to end up in the hospital. As detailed in a new article published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the COVID-19 acuity score (CoVA) draws on demographic, clinical, radiographic, and medical history variables that assess the likelihood of that patient being hospitalized, requiring time in the intensive care unit or mechanical ventilation, of dying withing 7 days. The tool was developed based on a single-center study of adult outpatients seen in respiratory illness clinics and emergency rooms, with data extracted from the Partners Enterprise Data Warehouse, and divided into two groups—development (n=9,381, March 7-May 2, 2020) and prospective (n=2,205, May 3-14, 2020) groups. Outcomes were hospitalization, severe illness (need for ICU admission or ventilation), or death within 7 days. Discrimination was assessed by area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). There were 30 “predictors” in all, but the five most significant were age, diastolic blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, COVID-19 testing status, and respiratory rate.
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