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Clinician Fact Sheet: Acute Deterioration

Serious adverse events, such as unexpected death and cardiac arrest, are often preceded by observable physiological and clinical abnormalities.1 Other serious events, such as suicide and aggression, are also often preceded by observed or reported changes in a person’s behaviour or mood that can indicate deterioration in their mental state.

Early identification of deterioration may improve outcomes and lessen the intervention required to stabilise patients whose condition deteriorates in a health service organisation.2 The warning signs of clinical deterioration are not always identified or acted on appropriately.3 Clinicians are essential to recognising and responding early.

Tasks for Clinicians

You can help your health service organisation to implement the Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard by completing the following tasks. These tasks are arranged by criterion for each Standard.
Last updated 30th May, 2018 at 09:00pm

Buist M, Bernard S, Nguyen TV, Moore G, Anderson J. Association between clinical abnormal observations and subsequent in-hospital mortality: a prospective study. Resuscitation 2004;62(2):137–41.

Calzavacca P, Licari E, Tee A, Egi M, Downey A, Quach J, et al. The impact of a rapid response system on delayed emergency team activation patient characteristics and outcomes: a follow-up study. Resuscitation 2010;81(1):31–5.

MERIT Study Investigators. Introduction of the medical emergency team (MET) system: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2005;365:2091-97.