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  • Dynamic early warning scores for predicting clinical deterioration in patients with respiratory disease

    Gonem, Sherif; Shaw, Dominick
    BACKGROUND: The National Early Warning Score-2 (NEWS-2) is used to detect patient deterioration in UK hospitals but fails to take account of the detailed granularity or temporal trends in clinical observations. We used data-driven methods to develop dynamic early warning scores (DEWS) to address these deficiencies, and tested their accuracy in patients with respiratory disease for predicting (1) death or intensive care unit admission, occurring within 24 h (D/ICU), and (2) clinically significant deterioration requiring urgent intervention, occurring within 4 h (CSD)., METHODS: Clinical observations data were extracted from electronic records for 31,590 respiratory in-patient episodes from April 2015 to December 2020 at a large acute NHS Trust. The timing of D/ICU was extracted for all episodes. 1100 in-patient episodes were annotated manually to record the timing of CSD, defined as a specific event requiring a change in treatment. Time series features were entered into logistic regression models to derive DEWS for each of the clinical outcomes. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was the primary measure of model accuracy., RESULTS: AUROC (95% confidence interval) for predicting D/ICU was 0.857 (0.852-0.862) for NEWS-2 and 0.906 (0.899-0.914) for DEWS in the validation data. AUROC for predicting CSD was 0.829 (0.817-0.842) for NEWS-2 and 0.877 (0.862-0.892) for DEWS. NEWS-2 >= 5 had sensitivity of 88.2% and specificity of 54.2% for predicting CSD, while DEWS >= 0.021 had higher sensitivity of 93.6% and approximately the same specificity of 54.3% for the same outcome. Using these cut-offs, 315 out of 347 (90.8%) CSD events were detected by both NEWS-2 and DEWS, at the time of the event or within the previous 4 h; 12 (3.5%) were detected by DEWS but not by NEWS-2, while 4 (1.2%) were detected by NEWS-2 but not by DEWS; 16 (4.6%) were not detected by either scoring system., CONCLUSION: We have developed DEWS that display greater accuracy than NEWS-2 for predicting clinical deterioration events in patients with respiratory disease. Prospective validation studies are required to assess whether DEWS can be used to reduce missed deteriorations and false alarms in real-life clinical settings. Copyright © 2022. The Author(s).