Saturday, April 21, 2012
Rapid Response Teams
The Rapid Response Team
While sitting in the waiting room at a hospital waiting for the patient to come out of surgery, I heard over the loud speaker, “Rapid Response Team to 2 west, Rapid Response Team to 2 west, Rapid Response Team to 2 west”. The words broke the otherwise silence of family waiting patiently reading or texting.
They were unaware of the importance of the words they just heard. The excitement ran through my body because in the middle of a sunny afternoon, hospital staff were acting on a fairly recent system to save patients who might otherwise die.
The Rapid Response Team, also known as the Medical Emergency Team is in place at many hospitals to be called by patient, family or staff when a patient is in need of fast intervention. Unexpected cardiac arrests in hospitals are usually preceded by signs of instability (1) and these patients are often cared for by junior staff. (2)
Following the Australian model the Rapid Response Team or RRT brings ICU level care to the patient’s bedside using interdisciplinary teams.(3)
Although there is still some controversy such as would this method be abused or are highly trained physicians being taken away from one patient to care for another(3), those of us know the importance of the RRT also know that we would rather be in a hospital that uses them, than not.
Look for the signs on the wall of your hospital and see if there is a RRT in place.