Neonatal risk scoring systems. Can they predict mortality and morbidity?

Clin Perinatol. 1998 Sep;25(3):591-611.


Physiology-based illness severity scores are proving their value through a wide variety of practical applications. The theoretical disadvantages noted in Table 1 have not turned out to be major problems, whereas the advantages have been quite real. Numerous studies have reported insightful comparisons between treatment groups, between NICUs, between countries, between eras, and over the course of care. Many institutions have implemented routine collection of physiology-based newborn scores. The answer to the question posed in the title is yes; neonatal risk scoring systems can predict some mortality and some morbidity. However, it is clear that this function is much less important than their application as a means of improving quality and cost. Future development will depend on commercially viable applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Managed Care Programs
  • Morbidity*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index*