The assessment of acute-illness severity in adult non-pregnant patients in the UK is based on early warning score (EWS) values that determine the urgency and nature of the response to patient deterioration. This study from Freathy et al., published in the journal Resuscitation, aimed to describe, and identify variations in, the expected clinical response outlined in ‘deteriorating patient’ policies/guidelines in acute NHS hospitals.
The ‘deteriorating patient’ policies of the hospitals studied varied in their contents and often omitted precise instructions for staff. The author recommend that individual hospitals review these documents, and that research and/or consensus are used to develop a national algorithm regarding the response to patient deterioration.
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