• Clinical deterioration;
  • early warning score;
  • intensive care transfer;
  • pediatric;
  • sensitivity;
  • specificity;
  • PEWS

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.