This report, from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), provides insight into a current safety risk that was identified on a referral. The referral was about difficulties in identifying clinical deterioration in patients with COVID-19 on general wards. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) highlighted the issue of rapid deterioration in oxygenation in patients with COVID-19 and how this might relate to the use of early warning scores.
The outcome is that the RCP released a statement on its website relating to revised guidance on the use of early warning scores for COVID-19 inpatients. The RCP suggest that all staff should be aware that any increase in oxygen requirements should be an indicator of clinical deterioration as the early warning score might not significantly increase.