Clinical characteristics associated with adverse events in patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective cohort study.
CMAJ. 2014 Feb 18;
Authors: Stiell IG, Clement CM, Aaron SD, Rowe BH, Perry JJ, Brison RJ, Calder LA, Lang E, Borgundvaag B, Forster AJ, Wells GA
BACKGROUND:To assist physicians with difficult decisions about hospital admission for patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presenting in the emergency department, we sought to identify clinical characteristics associated with serious adverse events. METHODS:We conducted this prospective cohort study in 6 large Canadian academic emergency departments. Patients were assessed for standardized clinical variables and then followed for serious adverse events, defined as death, intubation, admission to a monitored unit or new visit to the emergency department requiring admission. RESULTS:We enrolled 945 patients, of whom 354 (37.5%) were admitted to hospital. Of 74 (7.8%) patients with a subsequent serious adverse event, 36 (49%) had not been admitted after the initial emergency visit. Multivariable modelling identified 5 variables that were independently associated with adverse events: prior intubation, initial heart rate ≥ 110/ minute, being too ill to do a walk test, hemoglobin < 100 g/L and urea ≥ 12 mmol/L. A preliminary risk scale incorporating these and 5 other clinical variables produced risk categories ranging from 2.2% for a score of 0 to 91.4% for a score of 10. Using a risk score of 2 or higher as a threshold for admission would capture all patients with a predicted risk of adverse events of 7.2% or higher, while only slightly increasing admission rates, from 37.5% to 43.2%. INTERPRETATION:In Canada, many patients with COPD suffer a serious adverse event or death after being discharged home from the emergency department. We identified high-risk characteristics and developed a preliminary risk scale that, once validated, could be used to stratify the likelihood of poor outcomes and to enable rational and safe admission decisions.
PMID: 24549125 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]