The Medical Emergency Team: 12 month analysis of reasons for activation, immediate outcome and not-for-resuscitation orders

Resuscitation. 2001 Jul;50(1):39-44. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(01)00323-9.


Objective: To describe the reasons for, and immediate outcome following Medical Emergency Team (MET) activation.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of MET calls in 1998.

Results: There were 713 MET calls to 559 in-patients. Of the 559 patients 252 (45%) were admitted to ICU and 49 (6.9%) died during the MET response. The three commonest criteria for calling the MET were a fall in GCS>2 (n=155); a systolic blood pressure<90 mmHg (n=142) and a respiratory rate>35 (n=109). Cardiac arrests accounted for 61 calls and had an immediate mortality of 59%. The most common MET criterion associated with admission to ICU was a respiratory rate >35. Of patients who received MET calls based only on the 'worried' criterion 16% were admitted to ICU. The MET felt that a not-for-resuscitation order would have been appropriate in 130 cases (23%). NFR orders were documented during 27 of the MET calls.

Conclusions: The MET system provides objective and subjective criteria by which medical and nursing staff can identify patients who become acutely unwell. A high proportion of these patients will require admission to Intensive Care. The MET system also provides the opportunity to identify patients for whom an NFR order should be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Resuscitation Orders*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors