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Outreach teams cut hospital mortality levels

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Critical care outreach teams can significantly reduce deaths from cardiac and respiratory causes, Canadian research has confirmed.

New research from Toronto General Hospital suggests its critical care outreach service saves around 80 lives per year.

Data gathered on 342 patients between May 2005 and May 2006 revealed a 7% reduction in myocardial infarctions and 25% reduction in respiratory arrests after the team was introduced.

The data also showed that 71% of patients were able to remain on the ward, following intervention by the outreach team, while 21% were transferred to ICU.

UK research, published in the journal Critical Care earlier this month, found no evidence that outreach services had a major effect on the outcomes of ICU admissions (NT News, 6 November, p8).

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