Monitoring of high-risk patients in hospital wards is crucial in identifying and preventing clinical deterioration. Sympathetic nervous system activity measured continuously and non-invasively by Electrodermal activity (EDA) may relate to complications, but the clinical use remains untested. The aim of this study was to explore associations between deviations of EDA and subsequent serious adverse events (SAE). Patients admitted to general wards after major abdominal cancer surgery or with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were continuously EDA-monitored for up to 5 days. We used time-perspectives consisting of 1, 3, 6, and 12 h of data prior to first SAE or from start of monitoring. We constructed 648 different EDA-derived features to assess EDA. The primary outcome was any SAE and secondary outcomes were respiratory, infectious, and cardiovascular SAEs. Associations were evaluated using logistic regressions with adjustment for relevant confounders. We included 714 patients and found a total of 192 statistically significant associations between EDA-derived features and clinical outcomes. 79% of these associations were EDA-derived features of absolute and relative increases in EDA and 14% were EDA-derived features with normalized EDA above a threshold. The highest F1-scores for primary outcome with the four time-perspectives were 20.7-32.8%, with precision ranging 34.9-38.6%, recall 14.7-29.4%, and specificity 83.1-91.4%. We identified statistically significant associations between specific deviations of EDA and subsequent SAE, and patterns of EDA may be developed to be considered indicators of upcoming clinical deterioration in high-risk patients.