The SPEED (sepsis patient evaluation in the emergency department) score: a risk stratification and outcome prediction tool

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The aim of the study was to identify covariates associated with 28-day mortality in septic patients admitted to the emergency department and derive and validate a score that stratifies mortality risk utilizing parameters that are readily available.


Patients with an admission diagnosis of suspected or confirmed infection and fulfilling at least two criteria for severe inflammatory response syndrome were included in this study. Patients’ characteristics, vital signs, and laboratory values were used to identify prognostic factors for mortality. A scoring system was derived and validated. The primary outcome was the 28-day mortality rate.


A total of 440 patients were included in the study. The 28-day hospital mortality rate was 32.4 and 25.2% for the derivation (293 patients) and validation (147 patients) sets, respectively. Factors associated with a higher mortality were immune-suppressed state (odds ratio 4.7; 95% confidence interval 2.0–11.4), systolic blood pressure on arrival less than 90 mmHg (3.8; 1.7–8.3), body temperature less than 36.0°C (4.1; 1.3–12.9), oxygen saturation less than 90% (2.3; 1.1–4.8), hematocrit less than 0.38 (3.1; 1.6–5.9), blood pH less than 7.35 (2.0; 1.04–3.9), lactate level more than 2.4 mmol/l (2.27; 1.2–4.2), and pneumonia as the source of infection (2.7; 1.5–5.0). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.81 (0.75–0.86) in the derivation and 0.81 (0.73–0.90) in the validation set. The SPEED (sepsis patient evaluation in the emergency department) score performed better (P=0.02) than the Mortality in Emergency Department Sepsis score when applied to the complete study population with an area under the curve of 0.81 (0.76–0.85) as compared with 0.74 (0.70–0.79).


The SPEED score predicts 28-day mortality in septic patients. It is simple and its predictive value is comparable to that of other scoring systems.

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