I-MEWS Irish Maternity Early Warning Score

The Irish Maternity Early Warning Score (I-MEWS) is a metric used to measure the acuity of a pregnant mother and child in a medical setting.  Its main purpose is to facilitate the early detection of life threatening illness in pregnancy and the postnatal period.

I-MEWS is a specialised version of the NEWS acuity scoring tool. As with NEWS, specific escalations and care pathways are often tied to results in the form of “triggers” – prompting clinical staff to undertake mandated actions based on the specific results returned from an I-MEWS observation of a patient. As with the ISBAR mnemonic,  I-MEWS allows for a structured and well understood communication mechanism to be adopted which enables clinicians to communicate more clearly. It also provides a “snap-shot” of patient acuity at the time of recording.

I-MEWS observations are made by clinical staff based on a set schedule. This schedule is often dictated based on a patients prognosis or acuity score.   Thus I-MEWS can provide a history of a patients progress or deterioration that is very useful to clinicians.

The Ranesys ISBAR Handover tool uses I-MEWS for patient acuity collection and presentation of pregnant women as part of its support for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology setting. Among other uses. the tool uses the acuity scoring to assign a colour code based priority to patients,  allowing users to view patients in order of their recorded acuity (and hence “priority”). Please click here to find out more about the tool.


HSE guidelines on I-MEWS