- Within minutes of analysing a blood sample, the test offers medical criteria of Covid-19 severity and likelihood of clinical deterioration
- Continuous monitoring provides healthcare practitioners with the right tool to decide whether Covid-19 patients should be assigned to general wards, intensive care units or be discharged from the hospital, preventing overload at hospitals
Abionic SA, a Swiss Medtech firm based in the Biopôle Campus of the Switzerland Innovation Park West EPFL in Lausanne, has developed the cSOFA score, a tool to assess the severity of Covid-19. The cSOFA score (Covid Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) measures the likelihood of clinical deterioration in Covid-19 patients, enabling triage and assignment to the general ward or intensive care units (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.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe are faced with increasing occupancy rates in hospitals, particularly in ICUs, and many ICUs at or near capacity. Patient triage, until now, has relied mostly on patient age, a criterion sometimes criticized for being discriminatory. The cSOFA score enables a shift from demographic to medical criteria, taking into account the severity of each case.
Dr. François Ventura from the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG) commented: “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. 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.”
The cSOFA score is a further development from the already widespread SOFA score). The two scores correlate very well, but 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 50 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 Abionic has already clinically validated and marketed. PSP is characterised 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 shows a strong link between PSP concentration and the degradation of these patients.
“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”, Dr. Nicolas Durand, CEO of Abionic, adds. “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.”