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PEW scores: what are they good for?

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Paediatric early warning scores (PEWS) were developed primarily for use with in-patients, to enable early detection of deteriorating status in children receiving serial observations in hospital. However their use has spread to emergency departments (EDs), which deal with a different population presenting with a broader range of pathology, and where a single score taken on arrival is often used to guide management. They have never been properly validated for this purpose, and to confuse things further, there are a number of different systems currently in use.

Researchers from St Mary's …

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