Hospital heart attacks warning

More than one third of cardiac arrests in hospitals could be prevented if doctors recognise and act on early warning signs more quickly, a health watchdog has said.

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Watchdog recommends more senior doctor involvement

Report author and NCEPOD lead clinical co-ordinator Dr George Findlay said:

Senior doctors must be involved in the care-planning process for acutely ill patients at an earlier stage and support junior doctors to recognise the warning signs when a patient is deteriorating.

The lack of senior input fails patients by both missing the opportunity to halt deterioration and also by failing to question if CPR will actually improve outcome.

38% of heart attacks in hospitals 'could be prevented'

A watchdog has criticised health professionals for not picking up on warning signs ahead of cardiac arrests. Credit: Reuters

Cardiac arrests in hospitals could be prevented if doctors recognise and act on early warning signs more quickly, a health watchdog has said.

More than a third (38%) of cardiac arrests in acutely ill patients could be avoided by improving their assessment and response to deterioration, researchers found.

Experts from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) criticised senior doctors for failing their patients by not supporting junior colleagues.

The study, Time To Intervene?, found that warning signs were not picked up in 35% of those patients, not acted on in 56% and not communicated to senior doctors in 55%.

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