Prospective evaluation of a pediatric inpatient early warning scoring system

J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2009 Apr;14(2):79-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2008.00178.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Heart Arrest / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Nursing Assessment / methods*
  • Patient Transfer
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / prevention & control*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index*