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Nurs Child Young People. 2012 Oct;24(8):14-7.

The impact of paediatric early warning systems.

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Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Bristol Children's Hospital.


The child who is ill enough to be admitted to a children's ward has the potential to deteriorate rapidly. If this deterioration is not recognised and acted on in a timely manner, such children may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation, high dependency or intensive care. A paediatric early warning tool used with routine nursing observations will alert staff to the need for increased monitoring, the support of an associated outreach team or emergency medical attention. If the tool is used, a nurse can provide objective, transparent evidence of the child's condition to experienced clinicians. Appropriate education and supervision of staff should be ensured through the use of an outreach team.

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