Intensive care unit risk scoring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


“If something can't be quantified, its existence should be questioned.” – Rene Descartes (1595–1650) Definition Risk scoring numerically quantifies a patient’s severity of illness derived fromdata obtained early in a hospital stay. Broadly, scores can be used to quantify severity of illness, benchmark performance, and predict mortality and other outcomes. Background The earliest known medical text assessing disease severity is an Egyptian papyrus that classifies 48 head injuries by severity, to define a group of patients too ill to benefit from treatment. Each case was classified by one of three different verdicts: (1) “an ailment I can treat” (favorable), (2) “an ailment I shall contend with” (uncertain), or (3) “an ailment not to be treated” (unfavorable). One of the first scoring systems widely used was the Apgar system, developed by the American anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar in 1953, which assesses the vitality of newborns and is still in use worldwide. Another scoring system that has reached maturity is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), developed by Teasdale and Jennings in 1974 to clinically grade consciousness after severe head injury. In fact, there is still no better clinical system to quantify the neurological exam at the bedside.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonitoring in Anesthesia and Perioperative Care
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780511974083
ISBN (Print)9780521755986
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


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