TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Ottawa chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Risk Scale (OCRS), which includes 10 criteria, has good sensitivity for short-term serious outcomes, according to a study published in the Dec. 3 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Ian G. Stiell, M.D., from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving patients in emergency departments with acute exacerbation of COPD. Patients were evaluated for the OCRS criteria, which were recorded along with the total risk score, and were followed for 30 days for serious outcomes.

A total of 1,415 patients were enrolled. The researchers found that 9.5 percent had short-term serious outcomes. The incidence of short-term serious outcomes varied from 4.6 to 100 percent for total scores of 0 and 10, respectively. An OCRS threshold of greater than 1 would increase sensitivity from 51.9 to 79.3 percent for short-term serious outcomes compared with current practice and would increase admissions from 45.0 to 56.6 percent. Sensitivity would improve to 71.9 percent with 47.9 percent of patients being admitted with a threshold of greater than 2.

“As this risk scale has been clinically validated, it can now be used to estimate medical risk and help with decisions about patient discharge or admission,” Stiell said in a statement. “This should help decrease unnecessary admissions as well as unsafe discharges of patients with COPD who should be admitted.”

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