A review of current and emerging approaches to address failure-to-rescue

Anesthesiology. 2011 Aug;115(2):421-31. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318219d633.


Failure-to-Rescue, defined as hospital deaths after adverse events, is an established measure of patient safety and hospital quality. Until recently, approaches used to address failure-to-rescue have been focused primarily on improvement of response to a recognized patient crisis, with limited success in terms of patient outcomes. Less attention has been paid to improving the detection of the crisis. A wealth of retrospective data exist to support the observation that adverse events in general ward patients are preceded by a significant period (on the order of hours) of physiologic deterioration. Thus, the lack of early recognition of physiologic decline plays a major role in the failure-to-rescue problem.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk