Clinical presentation of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is non-specific and isolation of all suspected patients is difficult because of the limited availability of isolation facilities. We studied changes in haematological parameters in SARS patients using median values analysed according to the day of symptom onset. White cell (WCC), absolute neutrophil, absolute lymphocyte (ALC) and platelet counts followed a v-shaped trend with the nadir at day 6 or 7 after symptom onset except for ALC in the ICU group that had not reached the nadir by day 12. None of our patients had a platelet count < 80 × 109/l and WCC < 2 × 109/l in the first 5 days of symptoms and these parameters may allow early stratification of febrile patients into likely and unlikely SARS cases to allow effective utilization of isolation facilities. On multivariate analysis, age is the only independent predictor for ICU admission.
- Haematological parameters
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome