Background The members of Medical Emergency Teams (METs) teams undergo training to deal with medical emergencies. METs also deal with end of life issues arising in the context of acute illness. It is unknown how often METs implement end of life care relative to other interventions and thus what proportion of time should be allocated to training the MET members to deal with end of life issues.
Aim To determine the frequency of end of life care relative to other common interventions delivered by METs.
Methods Two authors independently searched for potentially relevant studies. We included prospective studies that reported activities undertaken by the MET. The suitability of studies for inclusion and validity of studies was assessed independently by two authors. We extracted data on the characteristics of the included studies, the composition of the MET and the activities undertaken by the MET. The primary analysis was descriptive.
Results Preliminary results are presented. The search identified 2324 abstracts, 99 articles were retrieved for full text review, 32 studies were included. Rates of end of life interventions performed by the MET ranged from 2% to over 20%. These rates are similar to many common interventions performed by METs.
Discussion End of life care is an important component of the work carried out by the MET and is carried out at a frequency similar to many interventions that are given more weight in MET training.
Conclusion Training to deal with end of life care should be incorporated into all MET training.
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