Calculated decisions: COVID-19 calculators during extreme resource-limited situations

Emerg Med Pract. 2020 Apr 6;22(4 Suppl):CD1-CD5.


In the near future, clinicians may face scenarios in which there are not have enough resources (ventilators, ECMO machines, etc) available for the number of critically sick COVID-19 patients. There may not be enough healthcare workers, as those who are positive for COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to the virus and need to be quarantined. During these worst-case scenarios, new crisis standards of care and thresholds for intensive care unit (ICU) admissions will be needed. Clinical decision scores may support the clinician's decision-making, especially if properly adapted for this unique pandemic and for the patient being treated. This review discusses the use of clinical prediction scores for pneumonia severity at 3 main decision points to examine which scores may provide value in this unique situation. Initial data from a cohort of over 44,000 COVID-19 patients in China, including risk factors for mortality, were compared with data from cohorts used to study the clinical scores, in order to estimate the potential appropriateness of each score and determine how to best adjust results at the bedside.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Decision-Making*
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / therapy
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Health Resources
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index