Predictive performance of NEWS and qSOFA in immunocompromised sepsis patients at the emergency department

Lisanne Boekhoud, Helena M E A Schaap, Rick L Huizinga, Tycho J Olgers, Jan C ter Maaten, Douwe F Postma, Hjalmar R Bouma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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PURPOSE: Sepsis has a high incidence and a poor prognosis. Early recognition is important to facilitate timely initiation of adequate care. Sepsis screening tools, such as the (quick) Sequential Organ Failure Assessment ((q)SOFA) and National Early Warning Score (NEWS), could help recognize sepsis. These tools have been validated in a general immunocompetent population, while their performance in immunocompromised patients, who are particularly at risk of sepsis development, remains unknown.

METHODS: This study is a post hoc analysis of a prospective observational study performed at the emergency department. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years with a suspected infection, while ≥ two qSOFA and/or SOFA criteria were used to classify patients as having suspected sepsis. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: 1516 patients, of which 40.5% used one or more immunosuppressives, were included. NEWS had a higher prognostic accuracy as compared to qSOFA for predicting poor outcome among immunocompromised sepsis patients. Of all tested immunosuppressives, high-dose glucocorticoid therapy was associated with a threefold increased risk of both in-hospital and 28-day mortality.

CONCLUSION: In contrast to NEWS, qSOFA underestimates the risk of adverse outcome in patients using high-dose glucocorticoids. As a clinical consequence, to adequately assess the severity of illness among immunocompromised patients, health care professionals should best use the NEWS.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12-Apr-2024


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