The Bedside Pediatric Early Warning System score is a validated measure of severity of illness in acute care inpatient settings. Its potential as a remote assessment tool for interfacility transport has not been evaluated. We hypothesized that the Bedside Pediatric Early Warning System score was associated with need for intervention during the peritransport period and patient disposition.Methods:
We retrospectively evaluated children transported by a regional pediatric team during a 6-month period. Bedside Pediatric Early Warning System scores were calculated at the triage phone call, the transport team arrival, and at transfer of care to the hospital team. The primary outcome was the receipt of significant intervention during the peritransport period, with additional outcomes of destination (ICU, ward, emergency department) in the regional hospital. Scores are presented as median values (interquartile range).Results:
There were 564 children who underwent transport; 139 (25%) received interventions; and 205 (36%) were transferred to the PICU, 231 (41%) to the ward, and 127 (23%) to the emergency department. Scores were 2 (1–5; median interquartile range) in children receiving no in-transport interventions, 8 (5–11) in children receiving any intervention (p < 0.001), and 10 (7–14) in children receiving more than one intervention. Children transferred to the PICU had higher scores 6 (3–10), than children transferred to a ward 3 (1–6) or the emergency department 2 (1–3) (p < 0.001).Conclusions:
The Bedside Pediatric Early Warning System score at the time of initial referral is a useful measure of severity of illness reflected by the subsequent provision of significant peritransport intervention and the transfer destination.