Prospective Evaluation of a Pediatric Inpatient Early Warning Scoring System


  • Karen M. Tucker, MSN, RN, is a Clinical Director; Tracy L. Brewer, DNPc, MSN, RNC, is an Education Specialist; Rachel B. Baker, PhD, RN, is an Outcomes Manager; and Brenda Demeritt, BSN, RN, is a Clinical Manager, Patient Services, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; and Michael T. Vossmeyer, MD, is Medical Director, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

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PURPOSE. The present study evaluated the use of the Pediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS) for detecting clinical deterioration among hospitalized children.

DESIGN/METHODS. A prospective, descriptive study design was used. The tool was used to score 2,979 patients admitted to a single medical unit of a pediatric hospital over a 12-month period.

RESULTS. PEWS discriminated between children who required transfer to the pediatric intensive care unit and those who did not require transfer (area under the curve = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.84–0.94, p < .001).

IMPLICATIONS. The PEWS tool was found to be a reliable and valid scoring system to identify children at risk for clinical deterioration.