Physiological antecedents and ward clinician responses before medical emergency team activation

Sprogis, S, Currey, J, Considine, J, Baldwin, I and Jones, D 2017, 'Physiological antecedents and ward clinician responses before medical emergency team activation', Critical Care and Resuscitation, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 50-56.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Physiological antecedents and ward clinician responses before medical emergency team activation
Author(s) Sprogis, S
Currey, J
Considine, J
Baldwin, I
Jones, D
Year 2017
Journal name Critical Care and Resuscitation
Volume number 19
Issue number 1
Start page 50
End page 56
Total pages 7
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Abstract Objectives: To investigate the frequency, characteristics and timing of objectively measured clinical instability in adult ward patients in the 24 hours preceding activation of the medical emergency team (MET). We also examined ward clinician responses to documented clinical instability. Design, setting and participants: A descriptive, exploratory design with a retrospective medical record audit. We descriptively analys ed data from 200 ward patients reviewed by the MET at a tertiary teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia, during 2014. Main outcome measures: Frequency and characteristics of urgent clinical review (UCR) criteria breaches in the 24 hours preceding MET activation, and in-hospital mortality. Results: Overall, 78.5% of patients breached UCR criteria at least once in the 24 hours preceding MET activation, with 80.9% having multiple breaches. The most common causes of UCR criteria breaches were hypoxaemia without supplemental oxygen (27.4%, n = 43) and hypoxaemia with supplemental oxygen (21.7%, n = 34) for first UCR criteria breaches, and tachycardia (33.1%, n = 42) for last UCR criteria breaches during the 24 hours we examined. The median time before MET activation for first and last breaches was 17.1 hours and 1.2 hours, respectively. Examination of the clinician documentation suggested a high incidence of pre-MET activation afferent limb failure. In-hospital mortality was 12%. Conclusions: Patients commonly and repeatedly breached objectively measured UCR criteria in the 24 hours preceding MET activation, providing numerous opportunities for clinicians to recognise and respond to early clinical deterioration. The high incidence of pre- MET afferent limb failure requires further exploration.
Subject Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Copyright notice © 2017 Australasian Medical Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1441-2772
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