Scientific method can determine if patients will develop a severe case of Covid-19

The measurement, called the Dublin-Boston score, is designed to allow medical professionals to make informed decisions on identifying which patients might need more stringent treatments
Scientific method can determine if patients will develop a severe case of Covid-19

Scientists say the Dublin-Boston score can accurately predict how severe the coronavirus infection will be on day seven after measuring the patient’s blood for the first four days.

Scientists have developed a new way to tell whether patients will develop a severe form of Covid-19.

The measurement, called the Dublin-Boston score, is designed to allow medical professionals to make informed decisions on identifying which patients might need more stringent treatments such as steroids, and admission to intensive care units.

Until this study, there was no Covid-19-specific scores available to help in this decision-making process.

The Dublin-Boston score can now accurately predict how severe the infection will be on day seven after measuring the patient’s blood for the first four days.

The study is being led by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with support from Harvard University, Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“The Dublin-Boston score is easily calculated and can be applied to all hospitalised Covid-19 patients,” said RCSI Professor of Medicine Gerry McElvaney, the study’s senior author and a consultant in Beaumont Hospital.

“More informed prognosis could help determine when to escalate or de-escalate care, a key component of the efficient allocation of resources during the current pandemic. 

"The score may also have a role in evaluating whether new therapies designed to decrease inflammation in Covid-19 actually provide benefit.” 

Meanwhile, two of the world's pharmaceutical giants, who are working to develop treatments and vaccines against Covid-19, have suffered setbacks.

On Monday, Johnson and Johnson said research on its experimental vaccine was paused after a study volunteer fell ill and 24 hours later Eli Lilly said  they had paused enrolment in a government-sponsored clinical trial of its antibody therapy out of safety concerns.

According to Bloomberg, Johnson and Johnson's vaccine was considered one of the frontrunners in the race for an inoculation.

The news is likely to heighten worry that the pursuit of products to prevent and treat infections is moving too quickly, due to political pressure.

Recently Donald Trump praised an antiviral drug made by Regeneron, and said that the treatment made him feel as if he were “Superman”. 

Trump also called the drug cocktail “a cure”, however Leonard Schleifer, chief executive of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, told CBS News’ Face the Nation, that Trump’s case is merely “a case of one”.

More in this section