Scientists have come up with a new way to predict if a patient with COVID-19 will worsen

Researchers at Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia, Italy have developed a method using ultrasonic

imaging to assess the condition of the patient's lungs. The ability to predict when a patient's condition will worsen can help doctors prepare in advance for intensive care of critically ill patients.

Presentation by Umberto Sabatini “Is ultrasoundlung predictor of worsening condition in patients with COVID-19? " presented at the 179th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).

Researchers tested the tool on 52patients who were admitted to the San Matteo Hospital between 15 March and 29 April. They performed ultrasound (ultrasound) examinations of the lungs of patients upon arrival and before discharge to gain an understanding of the state of the respiratory system. Using a 14-point lung scoring system, the researchers looked for abnormalities such as pleural abnormalities and assigned each site a score of 1 to 3 based on its degree of damage.

Using 14 points in the lungs, the researcherslooked for anomalies and assigned each point a score of 3 depending on its severity. Adding all the scores together, they found that the overall lung ultrasound score was higher in those with worse COVID-19 outcomes. Credit: Umberto Sabatini

By adding up all the scores, the researchers found thatthe overall lung ultrasound score was higher in those with a particularly severe COVID-19 course. These patients required supplemental oxygen, resuscitation, and some of the patients did not survive. Patients with three severely damaged lung sites (with a score of 3) were 6 times more likely to require mechanical ventilation or not survive than other patients.

Based on their results, the researchers have proposed a graph that can help doctors calculate the likelihood of a patient's worsening condition based on lung ultrasound results.

Diagnostics will help doctors quickly assess andpredict how much the patient's condition will worsen due to COVID-19. In addition, such a test is very time-saving, since it is performed quickly. Each site takes 10 seconds to scan, making the entire examination only 15–20 minutes long.

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