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Comparison of CATs, CURB-65 and PMEWS as triage tools in pandemic influenza admissions to UK hospitals: case control analysis using retrospective data

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Public Library of Science
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Abstract

Triage tools have an important role in pandemics to identify those most likely to benefit from higher levels of care. We compared Community Assessment Tools (CATs), the CURB-65 score, and the Pandemic Medical Early Warning Score (PMEWS); to predict higher levels of care (high dependency - Level 2 or intensive care - Level 3) and/or death in patients at or shortly after admission to hospital with A/H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza. This was a case-control analysis using retrospectively collected data from the FLU-CIN cohort (1040 adults, 480 children) with PCR-confirmed A/H1N1 2009 influenza. Area under receiver operator curves (AUROC), sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values and negative predictive values were calculated. CATs best predicted Level 2/3 admissions in both adults [AUROC (95% CI): CATs 0.77 (0.73, 0.80); CURB-65 0.68 (0.64, 0.72); PMEWS 0.68 (0.64, 0.73), p<0.001] and children [AUROC: CATs 0.74 (0.68, 0.80); CURB-65 0.52 (0.46, 0.59); PMEWS 0.69 (0.62, 0.75), p<0.001]. CURB-65 and CATs were similar in predicting death in adults with both performing better than PMEWS; and CATs best predicted death in children. CATs were the best predictor of Level 2/3 care and/or death for both adults and children. CATs are potentially useful triage tools for predicting need for higher levels of care and/or mortality in patients of all ages.

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