Early impact of medical emergency team implementation in a country with limited medical resources: a before-and-after study

So Yeon Lim, So Young Park, Hye Kyeong Park, Mikyeong Kim, Hye Yun Park, Bora Lee, Jong Hoo Lee, Eun Jung Jung, Kyeongman Jeon, Chi-Min Park, Myeong Gyun Ko, Mi Ran Park, Ji Myoung Nam, Sun Young Won, Jin Hee Jung, Soo Hyun Cho, Gee Young Suh
Journal of Critical Care 2011, 26 (4): 373-8

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to determine whether earlier clinical intervention by a medical emergency team (MET) can improve patient outcomes in an Asian country.

METHODS: A nonrandomized study was performed during two 6-month periods before and after the introduction of a MET.

RESULTS: The rates of cardiac arrests and "potentially preventable" cardiac arrests were lower after MET introduction, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. There was a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of cardiac arrests in the first 3 months of the academic year (2.3 vs 1.2 per 1000 admissions, P = .012). Introduction of MET reduced the time interval from physiologic derangement meeting MET activation criteria to intensive care unit (ICU) admission ("derangement-to-ICU interval") (10.8 vs 6.3 hours, P < .001). Multivariate analysis revealed that the mortality of unplanned ICU admissions was independently associated with simplified acute physiology score 3 and "derangement-to-ICU interval."

CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of a MET reduced the number of cardiac arrests in the general ward during the first 3 months of the academic year. Introduction of MET also decreased the "derangement-to-ICU interval," which was an independent predictor of survival in patients with unplanned ICU admissions. Therefore, MET introduction may lead to improved outcomes for hospitalized patients in a country with limited medical resources.

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