Type of publication:
*Crawford E.-J.T., *A lvarez E., *Moudgil H., *Naicker T.R., *Srinivasan K.S.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2014, vol./is. 189/
Rationale: Predicting mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be complex as disease progression does not often follow a smooth downward trajectory. Identifying patients with COPD approaching the end of the ir life is important as it allows clinicians to initiate appropriately time d discussions centred around advance care planning and palliative care. High rates of early readmission to hospital (within 30 days of discharge) for patients with COPD is also of some national concern and to date, effective strategies to reduce this readmission rate have been limited. The use of early warning score (EWS) systems are now widespread in UK hospitals and are used primarily to alert nursing and medical staff to the severity of, or changes in, a patient's condition. This study aimed to understand whether the EWS systems could be used to predict 30 or 90 day mortality, or readmission rates in patients admitted to hospital with a COPD exacerbation. Met hods Data was collected from 73 consecutive patients admitted to hospital over a three month period (May to August, 2013) with an acute exacerbation of COPD. Collected data included early warning scores on admission, discharge and the peak EWS score. Data regarding in-hospital death, death within 30 and 90 days of admission date and readmission within 30 days of discharge was also collected. Results One patient (1.4%) died during their hospital admission. Four patients (5%) had died within 30 days of admission and 11 pa tients (15%) had died within 90 days of admission. 17 patients were re-admitted within 30 days of discharge (23%). There was no significant difference between median admission, peak and discharge early warning scores in those patients who had died within either 30 or 90 days of admission or who were readmitted within 30 days compared to the median values for the rest of th e group (see table). Conclusions According to the findings of this study, measurement of early warning scores cannot be used in clinical practice to p redict readmission rates, 30 or 90 day mortality in patients admitted to hospital with an acute exacerbation of COPD. (Table Presented).