Journal Article

Poor specificity of National Early Warning Score (NEWS) in spinal cord injuries (SCI) population: A retrospective cohort study


Study design. Retrospective chart audit. Objectives. The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is based on seven physiological parameters which can be altered in some individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI). The aim was to start the development of adapted NEWS suitable for SCI population. The objective was to determine the SBP NEWS specificity based on neurological level of injury (NLI) and completeness of injury. Setting. Tertiary centre in the UK. Methods. Adult patients admitted for the first time to the National Spinal Injuries Centre between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016 were included if they were >6 months post injury. Data were extracted retrospectively including the last ten consecutive BP and heart rate readings before discharge. Data were analysed based on different AIS grades, completeness of injury and NLI. Results. One hundred and ninety one patients were admitted in 2015 and 2016 and 142 patients were included in the primary analysis. The mean SBP ranged between 92 and 151 mmHg. Patients with the NLI of T6 and above (≥T6) motor complete lesions had a significantly lower SBP than motor incomplete lesions. The specificity of the SBP NEWS was 35.3% in ≥T6 motor complete individuals versus 80.3% in ≥T6 motor incomplete individuals. Conclusion. The baseline BP is significantly lower in the ≥T6 motor complete SCI individuals (>6 months post injury) resulting in a very low specificity of 35.3% to SBP NEWS, which could lead to mismatch between clinical deterioration and NEWS resulting in lack of timely clinical response.

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Ahmed, Wail A.
Rouse, Alex
Griggs, Katy E.
Collett, Johnny
Dawes, Helen

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-08-07

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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