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Indian J Crit Care Med. 2008 Apr;12(2):77-81. doi: 10.4103/0972-5229.42561.

Rapid response systems.

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University of New South Wales; Critical Care Services, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney, Australia.


Intensive care medicine was for many years practiced within the four walls of an intensive care unit (ICU). Evidence then emerged that many serious adverse events in hospitals were preceded by many hours of slow deterioration, resulting in multi-organ failure and potentially preventable admissions to the ICU. Ironically, these admissions may have been prevented if the skills within the ICU had been available to the patient on the general ward at an earlier stage. The concept of a Medical Emergency Team (MET) was developed to enable staff from the ICU to rapidly identify and respond to serious illness at an earlier stage and, hopefully, prevent serious complications. Since then, other forms of rapid response and outreach systems have been developed. Increasingly, physicians working in ICUs can see the benefit of the early management of serious illness in order to improve patient outcome.


Cardiac arrest; medical emergency team; outreach; patient safety; rapid response teams

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