What is PEWS and what does it mean?

PEWS stands for Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS). It is recognised as a worldwide life saving tool in the medical field. It can predict cardiac arrests in children 6-8 hours before they happen.

How Does It Work?

Nurses use a simple scoring system to identify patients at risk of deterioration. Scores are based on 3 aspects of patient health… behavior, cardiovascular status & breathing. Scores can range from 0 – 13. The higher the score, the higher the risk of the patient crashing. Nurses refer scores to the PEWS Chart. It gives specific instructions on what to do

depending on the patients score eg. additional assessment, refer to senior clinicians or call Rapid Response Team. It takes approximately 30 seconds to add up a patients score.

What Is It Achieving?

It can predict cardiac arrests 6 – 8 hours before they happen. It reduces codes on the ward and improves Teamwork and Communication.

What Happened To Hayley?

Hayley triggered a PEWS SCORE of 9 exactly thirty hours before she died. She should have been transferred to Intensive Care immediately but was left on the ward to

deteriorate further. Hayley was supposed to receive hourly obs after her lung collapsed. Medical notes show she only received 14 out of 30 obs. The nurses failed to fill out PEWS Chart every hour and when they did bother they added some of the scores up incorrectly.

“What good is a world wide life saving tool if the nurses fail to fill it out properly and the doctors fail to transfer patients to Intensive Care. I wish I had known about PEWS when I asked the junior doctor to put Hayley back into intensive Care.”
I was Hayley’s Early Warning System.

Hayley’s mum

Want to know more?