Monitoring Assessment Effective for COVID-19

WHO has recently recommended using assessment for monitoring of clinical deterioration in patients with COVID-19.

Research teams from the Universities of Portsmouth and Bournemouth and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust have shown that an assessment score used to measure the severity of an illness in a patient can be used to evaluate those with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) without modification.

The Portsmouth Academic Consortium for Investigating COVID-19 (PACIFIC-19) team has demonstrated that the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) can predict certain adverse clinical outcomes in Covid-19 patients. The findings from the study are important due to the fact that they show investing in new techniques is not necessary, as ones already available work.

NEWS is used to take common measurements from a patient like pulse, temperature, blood pressure and breathing rate, converting them to a single value between 0 and 20. The higher the value indicated, the greater the risk the patient has of developing adverse clinical outcomes. The assessment was created over 14 years ago and is now employed across the NHS.

In another study conducted by the PACIFIC-19 team, they were able to show that the process required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the pandemic itself, did not negatively impact healthcare workers ability to monitor a patient’s vital signs.

"We all know about the immense extra burdens that the Covid-19 outbreak has imposed on hospital staff, but we have shown that the tools and processes they already use to monitor deteriorating patients have stood up to the task." Ina Kostakis, lead author on both studies said.

The results from the study were published in the journal Resuscitation and were presented at an online conference last year. The authors noted the study’s limitations, due to it being a single center study whose results may not necessarily be transferable. Future studies will need to be conducted to further investigate the findings.

"I'm immensely proud of the way the team came together rapidly at the start of the crisis and has now produced this important work,” Anoop Chauhan, a senior author on the study said. “We look forward to producing even more insights that help us to look after our patients during this pandemic and beyond."