A new study conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo's Medical School states that lung ultrasounds can predict the clinical progression of severe Covid-19 patients.
The researchers of the study adopted an ultrasound examination protocol covering 12 lung regions in 180 Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment.
The findings of the study, published in the journal ovid, suggested that the higher the lung ultrasound score, the greater the risk of admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), intubation, and death.
"We found lung ultrasound to be a good predictor of the need for intensive care with endotracheal intubation and the risk of death for Covid-19 patients admitted to the emergency room," said Heraldo Possolo de Souza, lead investigator of the study and a professor at FM-USP and an attending physician at its teaching and general hospital, Hospital das Clínicas (HC).
“It can be a simple, cheap way to estimate the prognosis for patients infected by the virus,” he added.
The researchers believe that the lung ultrasound can also help to screen patients admitted with the infection based on the predicted outcomes.
Lung ultrasound is chosen to test the hypothesis because the method is widely used in ERs, as well as being fast, easy to perform with portable equipment, and inexpensive, the authors wrote.
"We confirmed the hypothesis that lung ultrasound helps predict ICU admission, intubation, and death in severe Covid-19 patients," wrote one of the researchers.