Distinguishing bacterial and viral COPD exacerbations for right prescription
A combination of three simple and easy to obtain variables in the emergency room such as CRP, days of symptoms, and blood neutrophil count, can accurately predict bacterial infection in AECOPD patients. A scoring system using these three variables (respective points of 2, 1.5, and 1) stratified patients according to the risk of having a bacterial infection from low (22.2%), moderate (47.9%), to high (95.8%). Obtaining 2.5 points argued for bacterial infection, whereas summing up 0 or 1 point argued against it. The latest research by a team of scientists from various departments of the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida, Spain, observed these readily available clinical parameters to discriminate between acute exacerbations of COPD caused by bacteria and viruses.