Seckel, Maureen A.; Johnson, Kathleen
August 2005
Critical Care Nurse;Aug2005, Vol. 25 Issue 4, following p1
Academic Journal
This article provides information on rapid response team (RRT), its key components and its difference from a code team. The RRT is designed to assist in the care of any patient who presents with a sudden assessment change or appears acutely ill, before the patient suffers a cardiac or respiratory arrest. Research has shown that patients often show signs or symptoms of instability for up to 6 to 8 hours before cardiac arrest. A call to the RRT can be initiated by any health-care provider for early signs of physical deterioration. RRT were first pioneered in Australia. There have been multiple models of the team composition in the literature and these may include an intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurse (RN) and a respiratory therapist (RT); an ICU RN, RT, intensivist and resident; an ICU RN, RT, intensivist, critical care fellow or hospitalist; or an ICU RN, RT, physician assistant or advanced practice nurse. The team members should be available to respond immediately via pagers or overhead calls, not unlike a Code Blue or cardiac arrest team. The major difference is that the RRT is intervening earlier; hopefully within the 6-to 8-hour window of warning before the patient suffers a cardiac or respiratory arrest.


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