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Risk factors for deterioration in mild COVID-19 remain undefined
  1. Felix Wood1,2,
  2. Thomas Roe3,
  3. Jason Newman3,
  4. Leo Wood4
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2 Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
  4. 4 Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Felix Wood, Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, PL6 8DH, UK; felix.wood{at}

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The current UK wave of COVID-19 continues to put significant strain on a health service also dealing with winter pressures. Reliable data are needed to inform decision-making in the ED as highlighted recently by the editor.1 However, the current published, presented and preprint studies do not use appropriate outcome measures to give the most useful information for those with ‘mild’ symptoms of COVID-19.

Patients requiring supportive measures such as supplemental oxygen are necessarily admitted to hospital from the ED. However, those who present with mild symptoms and normal physiology require a decision to admit, discharge or refer to an ambulatory pathway. This strategy is already being used2 out of necessity but without formal assessments of individual risk. We know that the majority will make an uneventful recovery, never requiring hospital-based intervention.3 However, it is important to identify those at risk of deterioration. Patients who initially present with mild …

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  • Handling editor Simon Carley

  • Twitter @njason1

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the work described and approved the final text.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.