Outcomes of Triggering the Emergency Response Team at a High-Volume Arthroplasty Center. Scandinavian Journal of Surgery. 2020;109(4):336-342.

Outcomes of Triggering the Emergency Response Team at a High-Volume Arthroplasty Center

Saku SA, Linko R, Madanat R.
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder Wrist

Emergency Response Teams have been employed by hospitals to evaluate and manage patients whose condition is rapidly deteriorating. In this study, we aimed to assess the outcomes of triggering the Emergency Response Teams at a high-volume arthroplasty center, determine which factors trigger the Emergency Response Teams, and investigate the main reasons for an unplanned intensive care unit admission following Emergency Response Team intervention.

We gathered data by evaluating all Emergency Response Team forms filled out during a 4-year period (2014–2017), and by assessing the medical records. The collected data included age, gender, time of and reason for the Emergency Response Teams call, and interventions performed during the Emergency Response Teams intervention. The results are reported as percentages, mean ± standard deviation, or median (interquartile range), where appropriate. All patients were monitored for 30 days to identify possible intensive care unit admissions, surgeries, and death.

The mean patient age was 72 (46–92) years and 40 patients (62%) were female. The Emergency Response Teams was triggered a total of 65 times (61 patients). The most common Emergency Response Team call criteria were low oxygen saturation, loss or reduction of consciousness, and hypotension. Following the Emergency Response Team call, 36 patients (55%) could be treated in the ward, and 29 patients (45%) were transferred to the intensive care unit. The emergency that triggered the Emergency Response Teams was most commonly caused by drug-related side effects (12%), pneumonia (8%), pulmonary embolism (8%), and sepsis (6%). Seven patients (11%) died during the first 30 days after the Emergency Response Teams call.

Although all 65 patients met the Emergency Response Teams call criteria, potentially having severe emergencies, half of the patients could be treated in the arthroplasty ward. Emergency Response Team intervention appears useful in addressing concerns that can potentially lead to unplanned intensive care unit admission, and the Emergency Response Teams trigger threshold seems appropriate as only 3% of the Emergency Response Teams calls required no intervention.


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