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Chest tool scores admission risks

A new prediction rule is designed to allow GPs to easily stratify elderly patients with lower respiratory tract infections into groups at low and high risk.

The team behind the tool, developed specifically for primary care, say it will allow GPs to decide whether a patient requires home treatment, close monitoring or admission to hospital.Study leader Dr Jettie Bont, a Dutch GP and a researcher at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, said: 'A more accurate prediction of the expected course of infection can help the GP to better target preventive and therapeutic management.'Data on 3,166 patient epi-sodes was collected to develop the tool, which allocates points according to factors such as age, medication use and previous hospitalisations. A score of seven or more points corresponds to a 31 per cent risk of 30-day hospitalisation or death following infection. A low-risk patient – defined as two or fewer points – had a risk of only 3 per cent.The research was published in the latest issue of the European Respiratory Journal.

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