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First-Ever COVID-19 Severity Test to Triage Patients Quickly and Accurately

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Nov 2020
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Image: AbioSCOPE (Photo courtesy of Abionic SA)
Image: AbioSCOPE (Photo courtesy of Abionic SA)
A new test offers medical criteria of COVID-19 severity and likelihood of clinical deterioration within minutes of analyzing a blood sample, allowing healthcare practitioners to decide whether COVID-19 patients should be assigned to general wards, intensive care units (ICUs) or be discharged from the hospital.

Abionic SA (Lausanne, Switzerland) has developed the cSOFA score (Covid Sequential Organ Failure Assessment), the first-ever test that measures the likelihood of clinical deterioration in COVID-19 patients, enabling triage and assignment to the general ward or ICU upon admission and during the patients’ hospital stay. A low score allows medical decisions to be made on safely discharging patients from the hospital or moving them from the ICU to the general ward, freeing up much-needed ICU and hospital capacities.

The cSOFA score is a further development from the already widespread SOFA1 score. The two scores correlate very well, although the cSOFA score is obtained much more quickly, taking only five minutes. Due to its speed, it can serve as a monitoring parameter during hospital stays in order to identify deterioration in COVID-19 patients before the presence of clear clinical signs. Using the cSOFA score, healthcare practitioners can make an informed decision on where and how to treat patients.

In order to obtain the cSOFA score, a 30 ul drop of capillary blood is sufficient. The blood sampling can be done already upon admission by a receptionist; medical training is not necessary. Within five minutes, a score is determined that serves as a base for a decision on assigning COVID-19 patients to general wards, ICUs or allowing them to recover at home. As a result of this triage, capacities in hospitals are protected and patients receive appropriate care.

The score has obtained the authorization to sell in Europe (CE mark) and relies on PSP (pancreatic stone protein), a novel biomarker that has already been clinically validated and marketed by Abionic. PSP is characterized by its diagnostic accuracy in predicting sepsis and/or multiple organ dysfunction in various types of critically ill patients. Data from 150+ COVID-19 patients from the first European wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections showed a strong link between PSP concentration and the degradation of these patients.

“COVID-19 patients may have an adverse clinical course that is not predictive and may require emergency management with transfers to intermediate and intensive care,” said Dr. François Ventura from the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG). “The cSOFA is a great tool to help predict these possible clinical deteriorations and to guide patients through the healthcare system, which is certainly very useful in these times of healthcare system overload.”

“Measuring COVID-19 severity and likelihood of clinical deterioration protects hospitals around the globe from preventable overload and makes sure patients are treated according to their needs,” said Dr. Nicolas Durand, CEO of Abionic. “Our research also indicates that modifications to the cSOFA score may be used as severity measures for other illnesses, such as flu, sepsis and other inflammatory disorders.”

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