This CURB-65 calculator is a useful tool when managing a patient with a community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). It takes into account five readily available parameters and helps the doctor decide whether the patient should be admitted to the hospital. Moreover, the CURB-65 score stratifies the patient's risk of death!
Please continue reading to find out what are the components of CURB-65 criteria and what they tell us about pneumonia severity. You may also be interested in other pulmonary calculators, e.g., smoking recovery calculator.
Diseases of the lungs
Lungs are the primary organs of the human respiratory system. You cannot live without them! Testing their anatomy is based on X-Ray and computed tomography. Their function is usually checked by spirometry and pulmonary plethysmography. Thanks to them, you can measure, e.g., vital capacity and lung capacity.
Since with respiration, we inhale not only fresh air but also pathogens and toxic substances; the lungs are the place of frequent diseases. Lung cancer is the most common cancer in adults, pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition often happening in immobilized patients, and pneumonia is a common and significant problem, especially in hospitalized patients.
What is community-acquired pneumonia?
CAP or community-acquired pneumonia is the inflammatory process in the lungs in a person with little contact with the healthcare system. On the other hand, there is HAP or hospital-acquired pneumonia, which by definition, is any pneumonia in a patient who is in the hospital for at least 48–72 hours. This distinction is crucial because it reflects the proceedings – different pathogens cause pneumonia in those two situations.
What are the CURB-65 criteria?
In 2003, a group of scientists from Nottingham's Respiratory Infection Research Group published a paper in. They described a scale they had prepared and validated in a big group of 1068 patients from the UK, New Zealand, and the Netherlands with community-acquired pneumonia. The CURB-65 score enabled the stratifying of patients according to mortality risk and put them into two groups; patients who should be treated in the hospital and those who could be treated at home.
The CURB-65 score is an acronym and consists of five simple measurements. For each one, the patient may receive zero or one point. These measurements are:
C – Confusion (1 point if the patient has confusion of new onset);
U – Blood Urea Nitrogen (1 point if blood urea nitrogen concentration is greater than 19 mg/dl);
R – Respiratory Rate (1 point if the respiratory rate is 30 breaths per minute or greater);
B – Blood Pressure (1 point if systolic blood pressure is fewer than 90 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure is fewer than 60 mmHg); and
65 – Age (1 point if the patient is 65 years old or older).
The CURB-65 score is the sum of the score obtained from the five above measurements and takes on values from 0 to 5. Thanks to our CURB-65 calculator, you can calculate it yourself in a few simple steps!
Pneumonia admission criteria
The result of the CURB score reflects pneumonia severity and the patient's probability of death. The higher the score, the poorer the prognosis and the lower the chances of survival.
The CURB-65 criteria are also often called pneumonia admission criteria because the result of the CURB score tells the doctor if they should admit the patient to the hospital or can treat the patient in an outpatient clinic.
- CURB-65: 0 or 1 – Treat as outpatient.
- CURB-65: 2 – Consider hospitalization.
- CURB-65: 3, 4 or 5 – Hospitalization required.
In other words – the patient should be admitted to the hospital if the probability of death is more than 7%.