Accuracy of a Modified qSOFA Score for Predicting Critical Care Admission in Febrile Children.
The identification of life-threatening infection in febrile children presenting to the emergency department (ED) remains difficult. The quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) was only derived for adult populations, implying an urgent need for pediatric scores. We developed and validated a novel, adapted qSOFA score (Liverpool quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [LqSOFA]) and compared its performance with qSOFA, Pediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS), and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) high-risk criteria in predicting critical care (CC) admission in febrile children presenting to the ED.The LqSOFA (range, 0-4) incorporates age-adjusted heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary refill, and consciousness level on the Alert, Voice, Pain, Unresponsive scale. The primary outcome was CC admission within 48 hours of ED presentation, and the secondary outcome was sepsis-related mortality. LqSOFA, qSOFA, PEWS, and NICE high-risk criteria scores were calculated, and performance characteristics, including area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, were calculated for each score.In the initial (n = 1121) cohort, 47 CC admissions (4.2%) occurred, and in the validation (n = 12 241) cohort, 135 CC admissions (1.1%) occurred, and there were 5 sepsis-related deaths. In the validation cohort, LqSOFA predicted CC admission with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.86), versus qSOFA (0.66; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.71), PEWS (0.93; 95% CI, 0.90 to 0.95), and NICE high-risk criteria (0.81; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.85). For predicting CC admission, the LqSOFA outperformed the qSOFA, with a net reclassification index of 10.4% (95% CI, 1.0% to 19.9%).In this large study, we demonstrate improved performance of the LqSOFA over qSOFA in identifying febrile children at risk for CC admission and sepsis-related mortality. Further validation is required in other settings.