New Study Finally Elucidates “Chills” on Review of Systems

In a landmark EM study, the symptom, chills, was finally described in an empiric, scientific manner.  While many have not known what to do with it in the past - or why exactly it is an "essential" part of a good H&P, it has been shown to be 97.2% sensitive and 23% specific for a completely clean bill of health.  In a novel attempt to rigidly define “chills,” the authors of the study asked their prospective population to define it for them and ultimately settled on the 3 most common answers:
  1. “you know, chills! Like when you get to chillin!”
  2. “Just cain’t stop shakin’ at night”
  3. “Just start, ooooooooooo, you know! (embrace self and rub arms)”

Patients were enrolled prospectively in the Emergency Department and followed for 12 months.  According authors of this study, the presence of “chills” had an inverse relationship with mortality (p<0.049) and was actually very sensitive a complete lack of comorbidities whatsoever.  Other associations with chills were mostly demographic in nature.  Particularly once patients reached an age of 60 or achieved the ICD-9 code status of “wrinkly old prunes”, they became much more susceptible to violent attacks of chills.  The conclusions of this study have the potential to be paramount to reducing the rising costs of healthcare in America.  While chills is specific for absolutely nothing, the authors have noted its high sensitivity for a clean bill of health and recommended a follow up study using chills as a screening tool for immediate discharge home.