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Clinical Early Warning Scores: New Clinical Tools in Evolution

D. John Doyle

Clinical Early Warning Scores are tools intended to alert clinical staff to possible future clinical deterioration, often related to the onset of sepsis. Since their introduction, they have increased greatly in popularity. Their operation is conceptually simple: an elevated early warning score triggers a formal assessment by the responsible clinician. While the best-known system is the Royal College of Physicians National Early Warning Score (NEWS), a number of other scores are in use, such as an adaptation known as the Modified Early Warning System (MEWS) or warning systems for pediatric patients (PEWS). However, while promising, such instruments need to be studied in more detail to better characterize their eventual role in monitoring hospital patients. In particular, a central question concerns the identification of the best system (NEWS, MEWS, PEWS etc.) for a given clinical population (pediatric, trauma, prehospital etc.).

July 31, 2018

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