The National Early Warning Score predicts mortality in hospital ward patients with deviating vital signs: A retrospective medical record review study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims and objectives: To evaluate whether the scale used for assessment of hospital ward patients could predict in-hospital and 30-day mortality amongst those with deviating vital signs; that is, that patients classified as medium or high risk would have increased risk of in-hospital and 30-day mortality compared to patients with low risk. Background: The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a widely adopted scale for assessing deviating vital signs. A clinical risk scale that comes with the NEWS divides the risk for critical illness into three risk categories, low, medium and high. Design: Retrospective analysis of vital sign data. Methods: Logistic regression models for age-adjusted in-hospital and 30-day mortality were used for analyses of 1,107 patients with deviating vital signs. Results: Patients classified as medium or high risk by NEWS experienced a 2.11 or 3.40 increase, respectively, in odds of in-hospital death (95% CI: 1.27–3.51, p = 0.004% and 95% CI: 1.90–6.01, p < 0.001) compared to low-risk patients. Moreover, those with NEWS medium or high risk were associated with a 1.98 or 3.19 increase, respectively, in odds of 30-day mortality (95% CI: 1.32–2.97, p = 0.001% and 95% CI: 1.97–5.18, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The NEWS risk classification seems to be a reliable predictor of mortality on patients in hospital wards. Relevance to clinical practice: The NEWS risk classification offers a simple way to identify deteriorating patients and can aid the healthcare staff to prioritise amongst patients.


External organisations
  • Central Hospital Kristianstad
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
  • Holbæk Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
  • Nursing


  • critical care, critical care outreach, Early Warning Score, hospital mortality, in-hospital cardiac arrest, Medical Emergency Team, National Early Warning Score, vital signs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1222
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number7-8
Early online date2018 Dec 5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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