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Pandemic Respiratory Infection Emergency System Triage [PRIEST] (COVID-19 amendment)

Last updated on 13 May 2020

Research type

Study limited to working with data (specific project only)


Pandemic Respiratory Infection Emergency System Triage [PRIEST]

Contact name

Professor Steve Goodacre


Sheffield Teaching Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust 


Health Technology Assessment Programme

New study or amendment to existing study


Research summary 

Triage methods are used in emergency departments as a way of identifying which patients are in need of admission and urgent treatment. During a flu pandemic, when hospitals resource are likey to be stretched, it is essential that these methods are as accurate as possible. This study aims to use patient data from the early phases of a pandemic to test the accuracy of existing triage methods and develop new potentially more accurate methods. These new triage methods can thenbe applied in the subsequent phases of the pandemic. Data will be collected as part of a standard emergency department assessment of patients with suspected influenza, so as not to slow down patient assessment in the emergency department.  A research nurse will then follow up patient progress during the following 30 days via routine hospital records todetermine the outcome of their admission. These data can then be used to develop and test triage scores for prediciting which patients are at risk of dying or need life saving treatment. The existing triage methods tested in thisstudy will include CURB-65, PMEWS, SMART-COP and SwiFt as well as any new algorithims developed befire the next pandemic. We also aim in develop new triage methoids based on a) presenting clinical characteristics alone and b) presenting clinical characteristics, electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray and routine blood test results. It is difficult to predict when the next flu pandemic might occur, so it is important to have our study piloted and prepared before the pandemic arises. We have therefore planned to undertake a one year pilot study, collecting data from patients seasonal flue, before finalising plans for the main study to take place in the next pandemic.



Registry entries


REC name

North West - Haydock

REC reference


Date approved


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Back to approved covid-19 research