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Use of Paediatric Early Warning Systems in Great Britain revision 12.pdf (261.62 kB)
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Use of paediatric early warning systems in Great Britain: has there been a change of practice in the last 7 years?

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-03-23, 11:28 authored by Damian Roland, A. Oliver, E. D. Edwards, B. W. Mason, C. V. Powell
Objective: To determine the use of Paediatric Early Warning Systems (PEWS) and Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) in paediatric units in Great Britain. Design: Cross sectional survey. Setting: All hospitals with inpatient paediatric services in Great Britain. Outcome measures: Proportion of units using a PEWS, origin of PEWS used, criterion included in PEWS, proportion of units with a RRT and membership of RRT. Results: The response rate was 95% (149/157). 85% of units were using a PEWS and 18% had an RRT in place. Tertiary units were more likely than District General Hospital to have implemented a PEWS, 90% versus 83%, and a RRT, 52% versus 10%. A large number of PEWS were in use, the majority of which were unpublished and unvalidated systems. Conclusion: Despite the inconclusive evidence of effectiveness, the use of PEWS has increased since 2005. The implementation has been inconsistent with large variation in the PEWS used, the activation criteria used, availability of an RRT and the membership of the RRT. There must be a coordinated national evaluation of the implementation, impact and effectiveness of a standardised PEWS programme in the various environments where acutely sick children are managed.


Dr. Damian Roland is undertaking a Doctoral Research Fellowship supported by the National Institute for Health Research.



Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2014, 99 (1), pp. 26-29

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Archives of Disease in Childhood


BMJ Publishing Group for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, European Academy of Paediatrics





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