Early Warning Scores could also be useful in the Emergency Department to quickly identify critically ill patients so treatment can be started without delay. To determine if a newly designed, fast, and easy to use Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score can identify critically ill children in the Emergency Department. We conducted a retrospective observational study in the Emergency Department of an urban district hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Patients < 16 years attending the Emergency Department with an internal medical problem were included. Immediate intensive care unit admission was used as a measure for critically ill children. During the study period 2980 children attended the Emergency Department, ten (0.4%) of them required immediate intensive care unit admission. The Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score can identify critically ill children in the general pediatric Emergency Department population (area under the ROC curve 0.82). A sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 85% show potential to rule out critical illness in children visiting the Emergency Department when these results are validated in a larger population. A model containing both the Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score and the Manchester Triage System did not perform significantly better than the Manchester Triage System alone but did show a positive tendency in favor of the model containing the Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score and Manchester Triage System, area under the ROC curve 0.89 [95% CI 0.77–1.00] versus area under the ROC curve 0.82 [95% CI 0.68–0.95]. Conclusions: In this feasibility study, the Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score could be a fast and easy to use tool to identify critically ill children in the general pediatric Emergency Department population. The effectiveness of the Modified Pediatric Early Warning Score may be optimized if combined with triage systems such as the Manchester Triage System. A larger prospective study is needed to confirm our results.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Pediatric early warning scores . Triage . Emergency department . Referral and consultation . Intensive care
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-3285-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/114776
Journal European Journal of Pediatrics
Citation
Vredebregt, S.J, Moll, H.A, Smit, F.J, & Verhoeven, J.J. (2018). Recognizing critically ill children with a modified pediatric early warning score at the emergency department, a feasibility study. European Journal of Pediatrics, 178(2), 229–234. doi:10.1007/s00431-018-3285-9