CURB-65 Score for Pneumonia Severity

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CURB-65 is the clinical prediction rule also known as CURB criteria. This is the score that predicts the mortality in the community of people acquiring pneumonia and other infections.

Pneumonia infection is a disorder that causes inflammation in one or both lungs.  The swollen sacs may get filled with pus or purulent materials, ultimately causing coughing with pus, phlegm, fever and breathing difficulties. This is often caused by viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

The total score is 5 and each risk factor contributes 1 point and which can be used to predict the mortality. Here are the risk factors that are used to measure the CURB65 score.

  • Confusion
  • BUN>7 mmol/l
  • Respiratory rate of≥30
  • SBP<90mmHg, DBP≤60mmHg 
  • Age≥65

Interpretation of CURB 65 score 

 As the score is based on confusion status, level of urea, rate of respiration, blood pressure level, and age. Here are the death prediction according to the score:

CURB-65 score: 0 to 1

Mortality Percentage: 1.5 %

Disposition and recommendation: Outpatient care; low risk and home treatment is considered

CURB-65 score: 2

Mortality percentage: 9.2 %

Disposition and recommendation: consider short inpatient hospitalization or supervision outpatient treatment.


CURB-65 score: 3

Mortality percentage: 14%

Disposition and recommendation: severe pneumonia; consider admitting in ICU and treated with intensive care.


CURB-65 score: 4 to 5

Mortality percentage: 27.80 %

Disposition and recommendation:  severe pneumonia; Immediate admission in ICU, consider intensive care with score 4 to 5.

The main use of the CURB-65 score is to predict the action needed to be taken for a patient with pneumonia. Here are the main actions: 

  • Diagnose as an outpatient (0-1)
  • Short term hospitalization or close observation as an outpatient (2)
  • Admission in ICU with intense care  (≥3)

If patients have any type of infection, this causes an increase in CURB-65 score to increase with an increase in death risk. 

If the score increases 0-1 then the mortality percentage gradually increases by 5, if score increases to 2-3 the mortality percentage increases to 10% and if the score increases to 4-5 due to infection then the mortality percentage increases to 15-30%.

There is another term that is used to check the mortality of a patient; which is the pneumonia severity index (PSI). Both are often compared but PSI is, however, more precise for short-term mortality with higher discriminative power as compared with the CURB-65 and its predecessors.

On the other hand, PSI is complicated and require more information and tests like arterial blood gas sampling and other tests and as compared CURB-65 is more easy to use for primary care settings.

Reasons to use an online calculator to find CURB-65

Our online calculator is not only precise but the best available online. Due to the increasing numbers of pneumonia infected persons, there is a need to have a calculator for easy measurement while resting at home.

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