Comparison between Emergency Severity Index plus peak flow meter and Emergency Severity Index in the dyspneic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A randomized clinical trial
Mahin Hamechizfahm Roudi1, Javad Malekzadeh2, Mohsen Ebrahimi3, Amir Mirhaghi2, Mohammad Taghi Shakeri4
1Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Keywords: Dyspnea, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Triage, Emergency severity index, Emergency
Introduction: It is unclear whether the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) can identify high-risk patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This study aims to compare the mistriage rates of the ESI plus the Peak Expiratory Flowmeter (PEF) approach and ESI approach among dyspneic patients with COPD.
Methods: This study was a randomized clinical trial conducted between July and October 2018. We randomly assigned COPD patients with dyspnea to the ESI + PEF or ESI groups. Triage levels, disposition rates, number of resources used, and time to first physician contact were compared in patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Pulmonary Care Unit (PU), or discharged from the ED. Reliability of the ESI was evaluated by using the interobserver agreement (Kappa).
Results: Seventy COPD patients were equally assigned to the ESI + PEF and ESI groups. The under-triage rates were 11.42% and 0%, the over-triage rates were 31.42% and 2.85% in the ESI and ESI + PEF groups, respectively. The triage levels of the patients admitted to the ICU (2 vs. 3), the PU (2 vs. 4), or discharged from the ED (3 vs. 2) were significantly different between the ESI + PEF and ESI groups.
Conclusions: Addition of PEF to the ESI provides a more accurate method for triaging COPD patients compared to ESI alone. We recommend using PEF for the triage of COPD patients in the ED.