Existing research raises concern about the accuracy and use of current triage tools used to predict adverse outcomes in pandemics. The PRIEST study will evaluate current triage methods used to determine if a patient with suspected COVID-19 is to be admitted to hospital or not and whether or not they should be admitted to ICU/HDU. Based on the information collected from this study, two new triage tools will be created. The first will include clinical characteristics alone, and will be used in the community setting to determine if a full hospital assessment is required. The second would be used in emergency departments to determine if hospital admission is required and will include presenting clinical characteristics and investigations (ECG , chest X-ray and blood results). These new triage tools will be evaluated based upon ability to predict adverse outcomes; patient death or requirement for cardiac, renal or respiratory support.
Honorary Professor of Emergency Medicine & Clinical Director of the Emergency Department