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AIM: The National Early Warning System (NEWS) is based on vital signs; the Laboratory Decision Tree Early Warning Score (LDT-EWS) on laboratory test results. We aimed to develop and validate a new EWS (the LDTEWS:NEWS risk index) by combining the two and evaluating the discrimination of the primary outcome of unanticipated intensive care unit (ICU) admission or in-hospital mortality, within 24 h. METHODS: We studied emergency medical admissions, aged 16 years or over, admitted to Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) and Portsmouth Hospitals (PH). Each admission had vital signs and laboratory tests measured within their hospital stay. We combined LDT-EWS and NEWS values using a linear time-decay weighting function imposed on the most recent blood tests. The LDTEWS:NEWS risk index was developed using data from 5 years of admissions to PH, and validated on a year of data from both PH and OUH. We tested the risk index's ability to discriminate the primary outcome using the c-statistic. RESULTS: The development cohort contained 97,933 admissions (median age = 73 years) of which 4723 (4.8%) resulted inhospital death and 1078 (1.1%) in unanticipated ICU admission. We validated the risk index using data from PH (n = 21,028) and OUH (n = 16,383). The risk index showed a higher discrimination in the validation sets (c-statistic value (95% CI)) (PH, 0.901 (0.898-0.905); OUH, 0.916 (0.911-0.921)), than NEWS alone (PH, 0.877 (0.873-0.882); OUH, 0.898 (0.893-0.904)). CONCLUSIONS: The LDTEWS:NEWS risk index increases the ability to identify patients at risk of deterioration, compared to NEWS alone.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





75 - 81


Early warning score, Laboratory test results, Physiological monitoring, Vital signs