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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


KABUNDJI, D M; MUSEKIWA, A; MUKANSI, M  and  FELDMAN, C. Determining need for hospitalisation: Evaluation of the utility of the CRB-65 score in patients with community-acquired pneumonia presenting to an emergency department. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.11, pp.769-772. ISSN 2078-5135.

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

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