Hong Kong Med J 2008;14(Suppl 5):S8-10
A clinical prediction rule for diagnosing severe acute respiratory syndrome in the emergency department
GM Leung, AJ Hedley, J Kong, TH Lam, FL Lau, T Rainer, TW Wong, YH Tong
Department of Community Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
 
 
1. Several features increased the likelihood of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): previous contact with a patient with SARS, fever, myalgia (muscle aches), malaise (feeling unwell), abnormal chest radiograph, and abnormal lymphocyte and low platelet counts. Age older than 65 years or younger than 1 years, sputum production, abdominal pain, sore throat, runny nose, and high neutrophil count decreased the likelihood of SARS.
2. We derived a risk index that used data easily obtained in emergency departments, and identified patients with low and high likelihood of SARS during an outbreak.
3. Study data were obtained by reviewing medical records. Some patients may have had symptoms and findings that were not recorded in the records. Characteristics that identify patients with a high likelihood of SARS may differ in settings that are not large outbreaks.