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New Intermountain Study has potential to save lives of at risk COVID-19 patients

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 30, 2020

MURRAY, Utah — A promising new study has the potential to change the landscape of COVID-19 treatments and triage.

Doctors at Intermountain Healthcare have developed a new way to identify Coronavirus patients who are at high risk becoming very ill or dying because of the virus.

The background to understand the process is many patients that end up in serious conditions including death, ventilation, or organ failure are ill due to what is called COVID-related Hyperinflamitory Syndrome (cHIS) also sometimes referred to as a “cytokine storm.”

This condition causes the immune system to react in an inappropriate and excessive way causing damage to organs and can ultimately result in death.

The idea Intermountain developed is based on a variety of factors each patient is given a score that is used to determine whether patients with the virus are at increased risk of developing hyperinflammatory syndrome.

This COVID-related Hyperinflamitory Syndrome or cHIS score is based off a variety of factors, all of which can be found in a simple lab-test when a patient is admitted to the hospital.

The chart below are the factors tested for and based off the various levels a patient is assigned a score to say how likely they are to develop COVID-related Hyperinflamitory Syndrome (cHIS).

The study linked below tested 299 patients who were admitted to the hospital with Coronavirus.

Click here for the full study published today in The Lancet Rheumatology

The results of the study, this cHIS Score developed by intermountain more accurately predicted if a patient would be at risk for developing the syndrome and with-it severe symptoms of the virus.

“Patients that developed those cHIS features or hyper inflammatory syndrome features that played a greater role to them having poor outcomes than did, co morbidities, or age , or race or ethnicity.” Dr. Brandon Webb, the principle investigator on this study says.

Now that those scores have been assigned, before they develop those severe symptoms, precautionary treatment can begin and ultimately save lives.

“That's the ultimate goal of everything that we are doing is to save lives” Webb says “the score itself won't necessarily save lives but what it does do is it will help us to target the right treatment to the right patients.”

The study has now been sent out as a start for other areas with different demographics to be able to confirm the results.