Background: The prompt recognition and management of septic patients remains a challenge within the busy Emergency Department (ED). Prognostic screening aids have traditionally required time-delayed laboratory measurements not validated upon the emergency medicine population. Recently, a brief prognostic tool has been derived and subsequently validated in heterogeneous ED populations.
Clinical question: Can a risk-stratification tool predict 1-month mortality in ED patients with suspected infection?
Evidence review: Six studies evaluating the Mortality in the Emergency Department Sepsis (MEDS) score were identified and evaluated.
Results: Higher MEDS scores are associated with increasing mortality. MEDS score's short- and long-term prognostic accuracy is superior to other sepsis scales as well as isolated biomarkers C-reactive protein and procalcitonin. MEDS' prognostic accuracy in severe sepsis is inferior to undifferentiated systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) patients.
Conclusion: The MEDS score is an accurate and reliable prognostic tool for 28-day mortality in ED SIRS patients, but may not be optimal for those with severe sepsis.