Scoring System Predicts COVID Losers, Winners in Blood Draw

Researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, and at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, have developed a scoring system, the Dublin-Boston score, to predict which patients are most likely to have severe COVID-19. Their findings are reported in EBioMedicine.

The system measures the patient’s blood for the first four days after infection to predict how severe COVID-19 will be by the 7th day. Study coauthor Dr. Gerry McElvaney says the easy-to-calculate score will be useful to track the disease hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Dr. McElvaney is a consultant at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, and a professor of medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.

Under the Dublin-Boston scoring system, healthcare workers check a patient’s blood for levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), molecules that help the immune system control inflammation. IL-6 causes inflammation. IL-10 is anti-inflammatory. In COVID-19 patients, levels of each become increasingly abnormal as an infection becomes more severe.

The scoring system is based on changes in the ratio of the two molecules. Each one-point increase is associated with a 5.6-fold increased risk of getting sicker with the new coronavirus. According to Dr. McElvaney, the score could be used to see whether new therapies meant to decrease inflammation in COVID-19 are actually working.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice. Do not take action based solely on this article and always consult with an appropriate healthcare professional. This article is purely for informational purposes.

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