General severity scoring systems

The Acute Physiological, Age, and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score was developed to predict the mortality of severely ill patients. The variables chosen for this assessment are the patient's age and the worst reading of 12 physiological variables in the first 24 h of stay in the ICU. The sum of the 12 individual variables is combined with points for age and chronic health to reach a total APACHE II score. This is then used in combination with a relative weight assigned to the major disease categories to obtain a final risk estimate. Although this score allows some prediction of the risk of mortality, it gives no information on the degree of individual organ failure. It also involves fairly complex calculations and is an initial measure, not generally repeated after the first 24 h of admission. The Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) similarly uses complex calculations and is again aimed at predicting mortality.

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