Retrospective review of emergency response activations during a 13-year period at a tertiary care children's hospital

George Sam Wang, Nicole Erwin, Jeannie Zuk, Desmond B. Henry, Emily L. Dobyns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pediatric in-hospital arrests are uncommon but are associated with poor outcomes. In preparation for implenting a Rapid Response Team (RRT) at The Children's Hospital, we reviewed our data collection of 13 years of emergency response team (ERT) activations. We describe demographic and clinical variables, including outcomes of ERT activations at a free-standing tertiary care children's hospital. +METHODS:: Analysis was performed on data collected from January 1993 through July 2007. Variables collected included age, sex, admission diagnosis, core event, admission diagnosis and secondary diagnosis, medical division or winter/nonwinter months, day/night shifts, survival of core event, survival to discharge, and primary attending service. +RESULTS:: There were 1537 ERT activations in the database, 203 were eliminated due to missing data or were adult visitors/employees. The remaining 1334 were included for analysis. Our results showed 39%(511) of all ERT activations occurred in patients under 1 year of age. The most common admission diagnosis category was cardiac disease. There was no statistical significance between summer and winter months although more activations occurred during daytime hours (P <.001). Survival rate of an ERT was 90%, with a 78% survival rate to discharge. +CONCLUSION:: Our data support the general belief that younger children with chronic disease are at highest risk for ERT activations. These risk factors should be taken into consideration when planning patient placement, medical staffing, and the threshold for ICU consultations or admissions. More extensive multisite studies using clinical data are necessary to further identify hospitalized children at risk for sudden decompensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Cardiac or respiratory event
  • Emergency response team
  • Pediatrics
  • Rapid response team
  • The Children's Hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Internal Medicine
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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