Identifying patients with symptoms suspicious for COVID-19 at elevated risk of adverse events: The COVAS score
OBJECTIVE Develop and validate a risk score using variables available during an Emergency Department (ED) encounter to predict adverse events among patients with suspected COVID-19.
METHODS A retrospective cohort study of adult visits for suspected COVID-19 between March 1 - April 30, 2020 at 15 EDs in Southern California. The primary outcomes were death or respiratory decompensation within 7-days. We used least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) models and logistic regression to derive a risk score. We report metrics for derivation and validation cohorts, and subgroups with pneumonia or COVID-19 diagnoses.
RESULTS 26,600 ED encounters were included and 1079 experienced an adverse event. Five categories (comorbidities, obesity/BMI ≥ 40, vital signs, age and sex) were included in the final score. The area under the curve (AUC) in the derivation cohort was 0.891 (95% CI, 0.880-0.901); similar performance was observed in the validation cohort (AUC = 0.895, 95% CI, 0.874-0.916). Sensitivity ranging from 100% (Score 0) to 41.7% (Score of ≥15) and specificity from 13.9% (score 0) to 96.8% (score ≥ 15). In the subgroups with pneumonia (n = 3252) the AUCs were 0.780 (derivation, 95% CI 0.759-0.801) and 0.832 (validation, 95% CI 0.794-0.870), while for COVID-19 diagnoses (n = 2059) the AUCs were 0.867 (95% CI 0.843-0.892) and 0.837 (95% CI 0.774-0.899) respectively.
CONCLUSION Physicians evaluating ED patients with pneumonia, COVID-19, or symptoms suspicious for COVID-19 can apply the COVAS score to assist with decisions to hospitalize or discharge patients during the SARS CoV-2 pandemic.