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Rapid Response Teams Do Not Reduce Code Rates

More study needed before widespread implementation

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of a rapid response team may reduce the rate of cardiopulmonary arrests outside of intensive care, but the hospital-wide mortality and code rates remain unchanged, researchers report in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Paul S. Chan, M.D., of the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and colleagues compared data from 24,193 patient admissions before rollout of a rapid response team with data from 24,978 admissions after rollout.

After rollout, the rapid response team was activated 376 times and in the 20 months after implementation of the rapid response team, there was a drop in the mean hospital-wide code rate from 11.2 per 1,000 admissions to 7.5 per 1,000 admissions, the researchers found. However, after adjustment for pre-intervention trends, the introduction of a rapid response team did not reduce the mean hospital-wide code rate, or reduce hospital-wide mortality, the report indicates.

"Because of the lack of robust outcomes after the rapid response team intervention, well-designed multi-center adequately powered randomized controlled trials with sufficiently long follow-up should be considered to rigorously evaluate the efficacy of rapid response teams prior to endorsing their widespread implementation," the authors write.

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