Validation of modified sick neonatal score, a simple clinical score for assessment of severity of illness and outcome in new-borns for resource poor settings

N. Shivaramakrishna Babji, Cheruku Rajesh, Aparajitha Mekala, Bharathi Rani Siddani


Background: India contributes to 25% of the neonatal deaths worldwide each year. Neonatal disease severity scoring systems are needed to make standardized comparison between performances of different units and also give prognostic information. Existing scoring systems are unsuitable for resource-limited settings which lack investigations like pH, pO2/FiO2 ratio and base excess. Modified sick neonatal score (MSNS) is based on eight routinely measured clinical variables in NICUs namely respiratory effort, heart rate, axillary temperature, capillary refill time, random blood sugar, pulse oximeter saturation, gestational age and birth weight found to be useful in resource poor settings. The aim of the study was to validate MSNS score for its clinical utility in predicting mortality.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study done at NICU of Mamata Medical College Hospital. The parameters required for the score were recorded immediately at admission in NICU from 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2021 and scored using Modified sick neonatal score (MSNS). The total score was calculated and outcome was noted. The data collected were coded and analzed using SPSS Statistics for Windows, v21.0 Chi square test, Mann-Whitney U test and ROC analysis.

Results: Total of 355 neonates got discharged, while 45 neonates expired. For a cutoff score of ≤10, sensitivity and specificity were 85.9% and 51.1%, respectively. Positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 93.3% and 31.5%, respectively. The Area under the curve (AUC) was 0.811 (95%CI: 0.788-0.835), which indicates the accuracy of 81.1%.

Conclusions: MSNS is a better suited neonatal disease severity score for resource poor settings.


MSNS, Scoring systems, Mortality

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