Fernando Anschau

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Introduction: Most patients with COVID-19 have mild or moderate manifestations, however, there is a wide spectrum of clinical presentations and even more severe repercussions that require high diagnostic suspicion. Vital sign acquisition and monitoring are crucial for detecting and responding to patients with COVID-19. Objective: Thus, we conducted this study to demonstrate the impact of using a tool called Smart Check on the triage time of patients with suspected COVID-19 and to identify the main initial clinical manifestations in these cases. Methodology: We assessed triage times before and after the use of Smart Check in 11,466 patients. In this group, we identified 211 patients for the identification of COVID-19 clinical manifestations in a case-control analysis. Results: Smart Check was able to decrease the triage time by 33 seconds on average, with 75% of the exams being performed within 5 minutes, whereas with the usual protocol these steps were performed within 6 minutes. A range of clinical presentations made up the COVID-19 initial manifestations. Those with the highest frequency were dry cough (46.8%), fever (41.3%), dyspnea (35.8%), and headache (32.1%). Loss of appetite, fever, and ageusia were the manifestations that had a statistically significant association with the SARS-CoV-2 presence. Conclusions: Smart Check, a simple clinical evaluation tool, along with the targeted use of rapid PCR testing, can optimize triage time for patients with and without COVID-19. In triage centers, a number of initial signs and symptoms should be cause for SARS-CoV-2 infection suspicion, in particular the association of respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal manifestations. Keywords: new coronavirus, COVID-19, triage, clinical manifestations