Rapid-response teams have little effect on cardiac arrest deaths

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that rapid-response teams have little to no effect in reducing cardiac arrest or deaths in hospitals.

The study took place in a 404-bed hospital in Missouri from the beginning of 2004 until halfway through 2007, and looked at the use of rapid-response teams made up of intensive-care nurses and respiratory therapists.

Cardiac fatality rates after cardiopulmonary arrest went down very marginally, from 77.9 percent before the rapid-response teams to 76.1 percent after. The number of deaths per 100 admissions was lowered a similar amount, from 3.22 deaths before to 3.09 after.

The study, of course, raises questions about whether it is worth the expense to implement these types of teams. The question also remains: What type of treatment would work better to reduce these deaths?

To learn more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)