Development and validation of a decision tree early warning score based on routine laboratory test results for the discrimination of hospital mortality in emergency medical admissions

Stuart Jarvis, Caroline Kovacs, Tessy Badriyah, Jim Briggs, Mohammed A. Mohammed, Paul Meredith, Paul E. Schmidt, Peter I. Featherstone, David Prytherch, Gary B. Smith

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Abstract

Aim of study - To build an early warning score (EWS) based exclusively on routinely undertaken laboratory tests that might provide early discrimination of in-hospital death and could be easily implemented on paper.

Materials and methods
- Using a database of combined haematology and biochemistry results for 86,472 discharged adult patients for whom the admission specialty was Medicine, we used decision tree (DT) analysis to generate a laboratory decision tree early warning score (LDT-EWS) for each gender. LDT-EWS was developed for a single set (n = 3496) (Q1) and validated in 22 other discrete sets each of three months long (Q2, Q3…Q23) (total n = 82,976; range of n = 3428 to 4093) by testing its ability to discriminate in-hospital death using the area under the receiver-operating characteristic (AUROC) curve.

Results - The data generated slightly different models for male and female patients. The ranges of AUROC values (95% CI) for LDT-EWS with in-hospital death as the outcome for the validation sets Q2–Q23 were: 0.755 (0.727–0.783) (Q16) to 0.801 (0.776–0.826) [all patients combined, n = 82,976]; 0.744 (0.704–0.784, Q16) to 0.824 (0.792–0.856, Q2) [39,591 males]; and 0.742 (0.707–0.777, Q10) to 0.826 (0.796–0.856, Q12) [43,385 females].

Conclusions - This study provides evidence that the results of commonly measured laboratory tests collected soon after hospital admission can be represented in a simple, paper-based EWS (LDT-EWS) to discriminate in-hospital mortality. We hypothesise that, with appropriate modification, it might be possible to extend the use of LDT-EWS throughout the patient's hospital stay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1499
JournalResuscitation
Volume84
Issue number11
Early online date31 May 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Early warning scores
  • Risk prediction
  • Biochemistry
  • Haematology
  • Illness severity score

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