The study published in the open access journal BMC Emergency Medicine presents a computer algorithm, which can predict the patient's chances of dying at the time of the emergency call.
Kenji Ohshige and a team of researchers from the Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan collected information of more than 60,000 emergency calls during 1st October 2008 until 31st March 2009, to assess it at the new Yokohama computer-based triage emergency system.
The severity of the patient's condition was categorized accordingly after triage information for each call was entered into the computer system.
The researchers then compared the computer-estimated threat of dying at the time of the emergency call with the actual patients' condition upon arrival at the hospital emergency department to find that the algorithm was effective in assessing the life risk of a patient with over 80 percent sensitivity.
Ohshige said: "A patient's life threat risk can be quantitatively expressed at the moment of the emergency call with a moderate level of accuracy. The algorithm for estimating a patient's like threat risk should be improved further as more data are collected.
"As delayed response time reduces the number of patients who survive from sudden cardiac arrest priority dispatch of ambulances to patients in critical condition has become a matter of importance."