Prediction of in-hospital mortality: An adaptive severity- of-illness score for a tertiary ICU in South Africa

S Pazi, G Sharp, E van der Merwe


Background. A scoring system based on physiological conditions was developed in 1984 to assess the severity of illness. This version, and subsequent versions, were labelled Simplified Acute Physiology Scores (SAPS). Each extension addressed limitations in the earlier version, with the SAPS III model using a data-driven approach. However, the SAPS III model did not include data collected from the African continent, thereby limiting the generalisation of the results.
Objectives.  To propose a scoring system for assessing severity of illness at intensive care unit (ICU) admission and a model for prediction of in-hospital mortality, based on the severity of illness score. 
Methods. This is a prospective cohort study which included patients who were admitted to an ICU in a South African tertiary hospital in 2017. Logistic regression modelling was used to develop the proposed scoring system, and the proposed mortality prediction model.
Results. The study included 829 patients. Less than a quarter of patients (21.35%;n=177) died during the study period. The proposed model exhibited good calibration and excellent discrimination.
Conclusion. The proposed scoring system is able to assess severity of illness at ICU admission, while the proposed statistical model may be used in the prediction of in-hospital mortality

Authors' affiliations

S Pazi, Department of Statistics, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa

G Sharp, Department of Statistics, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa

E van der Merwe, Adult Critical Care Unit, Livingstone Hospital, Gqeberha, South Africa; Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa

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Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2022;38(1):4.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-05-06
Date published: 2022-05-06

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