The NEWS (National Early Warning Score) utilises six physiological parameters to aid the assessment of acute illness. It can be used in adults only, but has not been evidenced for use in pregnancy. The higher the score, the greater the variation from normal. NEWS should be used as an aid to clinical assessment, and is not a substitute for sound clinical judgement.
It is particularly important to include a NEWS score at the point of referral to secondary care, to help track changes and therefore the early identification of patients who are deteriorating.
Using and interpreting NEWS
NEWS should be used as an aid to clinical assessment, and is not a substitute for sound clinical judgement. Therefore a low score is not necessarily reassuring but the higher the NEWS, the greater the clinical risk. A *RED score refers to an extreme variation in a single physiological parameter (ie a score of 3, coloured red on the NEWS chart) and warrants clinical evaluation.