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When Should Nursing Staff Call a Rapid Response Team?

When Should Nursing Staff Call a Rapid Response Team?

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a rapid response team could save your life

a rapid response team could save your life

Rapid response teams are saving lives in hospitals. A key factor in their success is a nursing staff who know when to request their help. A sudden deterioration in a patient’s condition should stimulate activation of emergency efforts.

The goal of a rapid response team (RRT) is to avert a cardiac arrest – to take action before the patient stops breathing. Here are some generally accepted reasons to call a team of professionals to the bedside:

  • Staff worried about patient
  • Acute change in heart rate
  • Acute change in systolic blood pressure
  • Acute change in respiratory rate
  • Acute drop in O2 saturation
  • Acute change in mental status
  • Drop in urine output
  • New, repeated, or prolonged seizures
  • Fractional inspired oxygen of 50% or greater
  • Failure to respond to treatment for an acute problem/symptoms

The composition of RRTs varies from hospital to hospital. A team typically consists of 2-3 people who are assigned to flexible responsibilities within the facility.

The team may consist of respiratory therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, critical care nurses, intensivist (critical care doctors), hospitalists (physicians employed within a facility to provide inpatient care) or residents.

The team’s role is to assess and stabilize the patient, assist with communication with the attending physician, educate and support the nursing staff and family, and assist with the transfer to another level of care if needed.

The rapid response team serves a vital role, but not all hospitals have them.

An attorney investigating a claim involving a delay in treating a life-threatening crisis should look into the events that led up to the complication or situation.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.


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