Medical emergency teams: deciphering clues to crises in hospitals

Crit Care. 2005 Aug;9(4):325-6. doi: 10.1186/cc3721. Epub 2005 May 18.


Cardiac arrest in hospitals is usually preceded by prolonged deterioration. If the deterioration is recognized and treated, often death can be prevented. Medical emergency teams (MET) are a mechanism to fill this need. The epidemiology of patient deteriorations is not well understood. Jones and colleagues provide data regarding the temporal pattern of METs. They describe a diurnal variation to crises that strongly suggests hospital processes may systematically ignore (and find) patient deterioration. Hospitals in the future must develop methodologies to find more reliably patients who are in crisis, and then respond to them swiftly and effectively to prevent unnecessary deaths.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • After-Hours Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Global Health
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors