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Failure to Rescue

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Failure to Rescue
Barbara Combes
Breckenridge School of Nursing
ITT Technical Institute
July 15, 2014

This paper describes failure to rescue (FTR), according to recent studies. Failure to rescue is discussed in terms of importance to nursing. The paper speculates on how knowing about failure to rescue may help in the nursing course studies and critical thinking skills.
According to a 2007 article in Med Care, use of failure to rescue as an indicator of hospital quality and patient safety has increased over the past decade. Researchers have used different sets of complications and deaths to define this measure. (Silber JH, Romano PS, Rosen AK, Wang Y, Even-Shoshan O, Volpp KG, 2007). This paper gives a description of failure to rescue, discusses the importance to nursing and nursing students, in regards to course studies and critical thinking skills. References for this paper are research studies that used the “original” FTR (using all deaths) description.

Failure to Rescue is generally defined as the inability to save a hospitalized patient’s life when he/she experiences a complication. A complication is a condition that is not present on admission, such as cardiopulmonary arrest/shock, pneumonia, upper GI bleed, venous thromboembolism (VTE), and sepsis. Failure to rescue does not necessarily imply wrong doing. (Silber, JH, 2007)

Importance to Nursing
Patients that experience a complication are at risk for failure to rescue. Surgical and trauma patients are most vulnerable. Early warning signs include changes in vital signs; temperature, blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, and respiration rate, changes in oxygen saturation, and changes in mental status. Monitoring these represents the most basic nursing skill, yet essential for...

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