The Africa Federation of Emergency Medicine has developed a screening tool for the severity of COVID-19. This tool is both paper-based and online. For the latter, AFEM partnered with Surgisphere to develop an online COVID-19 Severity Scoring Tool. They used advanced machine learning on hospital-based data from 13,500 COVID-19 patients.

The tool aims to aid frontline providers in rapidly determining which patients presenting to Emergency Units with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 require respiratory interventions. 

The tool assigns patients into a severity category that aligns to WHO's classification: critical, severe and moderate/mild. 

  • Critical patients require ventilation;  

  • Severe patients require oxygen;  

  • Moderate patients have pneumonia but no oxygen need;

  • Mild patients only have upper respiratory tract disease. 

This tool will make one of three recommendations: 

  • Critical status: consider ICU and/or mechanical ventilation; 

  • Severe status: consider oxygen and supportive care; 

  • Moderate or mild status: limited supportive care may be needed.

An early assessment suggests that the tool correctly classifies 93.6% of patients, overestimating 5.7% and underestimating 0.8% of patient severities.


Additonal ICU admission criteria include:

  1. Clinical Fraility Score

  2. SOFA Score (Sequential Organ Dysfunction Score)

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