Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine 2017 08 0425(1) 77 doi 10.1186/s13049-017-0423-8
Rapid response teams (RRTs) attend severely ill general ward patients whose average 30-day mortality is near 30%. A major part of RRT patients are over 75 years old, but there are no studies on the characteristics and outcome of this geriatric RRT population. We compared the characteristics and outcome of geriatric RRT sub-population with the RRT patients <75 years old. We further investigated, whether the accumulation of risk factors (RFs) for mortality among the general RRT population predicts a tenuous outcome among the geriatric sub-population. METHODS
Prospective three-year observational cohort study of adult RRT patients in Tampere University Hospital, Finland. After identifying independent RFs for 30-day mortality among RRT patients with multivariate logistic regression, we further studied the impact of the accumulation of these RFs among geriatric RRT patients who had no limitations of medical treatment.
A total of 1372 patients were reviewed 1722 times. Geriatric patients (n = 449, 33%), when compared to non-geriatric patients, had higher 30-day (33% vs. 21%, respectively; p < 0.001) and one-year (54% vs. 35%, respectively; p < 0.001) mortality rates. Among the general RRT population, positive RRT criteria as measured by RRT during the review, high comorbidity index, age ≥ 75 years, non-elective hospital admission, medical reason for admission and afferent limb failure were identified as independent RFs for 30-day mortality and classified as feasible to obtain during a routine RRT review. The observed rates of these RFs among the geriatric RRT patients substantially affected their 30-day mortality (e.g. no RFs: 5.3%; one RF: 14%; two RFs: 27%; three RFs: 38%; four RFs: 52%; five RFs: 38%). CONCLUSIONS
One-third of patients reviewed by RRT were ≥75 years old, and age statistics were comparable to previous RRT studies suggesting that this is the case globally. Outcome of geriatric RRT patients is poorer as compared with RRT patients <75 years. However, the outcome is substantially affected by the accruement (or lack) of RFs generally increasing the mortality of RRT patients. Considering these factors during a geriatric RRT review may aid with the decision to either escalate or de-escalate care.