Triage tool for suspected COVID-19 patients in the emergency room: AIFELL score

Braz J Infect Dis. 2020 Sep-Oct;24(5):458-461. doi: 10.1016/j.bjid.2020.07.003. Epub 2020 Aug 20.


Clinical prediction scores support the assessment of patients in the emergency setting to determine the need for further diagnostic and therapeutic steps. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, physicians in emergency rooms (ER) of many hospitals have a considerably higher patient load and need to decide within a short time frame whom to hospitalize. Based on our clinical experiences in dealing with COVID-19 patients at the University Hospital in Zurich, we created a triage score with the acronym "AIFELL" consisting of clinical, radiological and laboratory findings. The score was then evaluated in a retrospective analysis of 122 consecutive patients with suspected COVID-19 from March until mid-April 2020. Descriptive statistics, Student's t-test, ANOVA and Scheffe's post-hoc analysis confirmed the diagnostic power of the score. The results suggest that the AIFELL score has potential as a triage tool in the ER setting intended to select probable COVID-19 cases for hospitalization in spontaneously presenting or referred patients with acute respiratory symptoms.

Keywords: COVID-19; Emergency; SARS-CoV-2; Score.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Triage