UCI Health said Thursday it has developed, validated and deployed a computational tool for predicting and identifying patients vulnerable to serious COVID-19 outcomes, including requirements for critical care, mechanical breathing, and death.

“The modeling tool will ultimately buy precious time in treating those afflicted with the virus,” according to a statement.

Based on a study from UCI Health, gender, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a handful of inflammatory biomarkers seem to be some of the biggest contributing factors as to whether a COVID-19 patient will require care for a critical disease when he or she reaches the hospital.

The study included 299 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and concluded the factors associated with greatest increased risk of critical disease was the number of comorbidities. The most common comorbidities included obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

Men were seen as having a greater risk of critical disease occurrence, the statement said. The tool itself has been validated at UCI and on a smaller cohort from Emory Healthcare in Atlanta.

Other tests that tended to show those most likely to have a critical disease included respiratory rate and white blood cell count, according to the statement.

The UCI Health community is centered at UC Irvine and its teaching hospital, UCI medical Center in Orange.

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