Determining need for hospitalisation: Evaluation of the utility of the CRB-65 score in patients with community-acquired pneumonia presenting to an emergency department
South African Medical Journal
Helen Joseph Hospital and Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Background. The CRB-65 severity of illness score, used for assessing patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), may be of particular benefit in resource-constrained areas, since it relies purely on clinical parameters.Objective. To assess the potential accuracy of the CRB-65 score when used in deciding whether to hospitalise patients with CAP presenting to an emergency department (ED). Methods. Prospective, observational study in an academic hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. Data from adult patients with radiologically confirmed CAP were analysed.Results. Overall, 152 patients were enrolled (79 females, 73 males; median age 36.5 years). Several diverse criteria had been used by the ED doctors in admission decisions, while the CRB-65 score had been used in only 3/152 patients (1.6%). Overall, 68/152 patients (44.7%) had been managed as inpatients and 84/152 (55.3%) as outpatients. If the CRB-65 had been used as the sole criterion for site-of-care decisions, 107/152 patients (70.4%) would potentially have been managed as outpatients and 45/152 (29.6%) as inpatients. Achieving a stable clinical condition took longer (p=0.037) and mortality was higher (p<0.001) in patients with higher than lower CRB-65 scores. All five patients who died were inpatients. Of these, three (60.0%) would have been classified by the CRB-65 as having an intermediate mortality risk and two (40.0%) as having a high mortality risk.Conclusions. This study demonstrates the utility of the CRB-65 score in accurately determining the need for admission of patients with CAP presenting to an ED in a resource-constrained environment. © 2014, S Afr Med J. All Rights Reserved.
adult; aged; Article; community acquired pneumonia; CRB 65 score; emergency ward; female; hospital based case control study; hospitalization; human; major clinical study; male; mortality; observational study; prospective study; respiratory tract disease assessment