University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has seen a significant drop in inpatient cardiac arrests following the introduction of a number of new safety measures at hospitals in the Trust.
Since 2014, inpatient cardiac arrest incidences at UHMBT have been reduced by 56.68% – falling from 217 recorded inpatient cardiac arrests in 2014 to just 94 in 2017.
This fantastic reduction has been achieved through a number of ways:
- Patients are now monitored at a minimum of every four hours and when patients show early signs of clinical deterioration, according to National Early Warning Score (NEWS), it is escalated immediately to the nurse in charge, or Dr (dependent on the NEWS score) via a dedicated phone number
- Additional training sessions for staff to ensure they are all up to date with mandatory life-support training
- A weekly review of all escalation calls now takes place at the Trust’s weekly patient safety summit to identify themes, areas for improvement or celebration of good practice
The importance of recognising early signs and preventing cardiac arrests are reflected by the survival chances of those who suffer a cardiac arrest in hospital. If someone has a cardiac arrest in hospital, their chances of surviving the cardiac arrest, and then surviving to discharge from hospital is, on average, 20.4%.
Fiona Richardson, Acute Care Matron at UHMBT, has led on the training of staff in this area across the Trust and is delighted by the positive results;
“For a lot of years, resuscitation has been about the management of cardiac arrest, but in the past five or six years nationally, we have been encouraged to look at the prevention of deterioration or early interception of deterioration. So it’s important that we are recognising that deterioration in a patient early, and instigating appropriate treatment to hopefully prevent it from leading to a cardiac arrest.
“When I did the figures, I actually had to do it five times to make sure it was right, and then I asked somebody else to do it. It just seems an unbelievable number to get a reduction of, so we are really proud of everybody at the Trust.
“The biggest thing to say is that it is not one person responsible for that reduction; it is every staff member that works within the Trust, whether they be non-registered or registered. It is their dedication to learning both at training and on the ward that has helped to reduce it.”