Vitalness of vital signs, and medical emergency teams

D James Cooper and Michael D Buist
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01818.x
Published online: 2 June 2008

Patients’ simple vital signs are a highly reliable predictor of life-threatening clinical events

At a time when hospital staff are becoming increasingly dependent on new technologies, the review by Cretikos et al1 entitled “Respiratory rate: the neglected vital sign” is refreshing. It is a timely reminder that understanding, documenting and acting on changes in patients’ simple vital signs are of fundamental importance to clinical outcomes.

  • D James Cooper1
  • Michael D Buist2,3

  • 1 Intensive Care Department, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Dandenong Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Department of Intensive Care and Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Michael Buist is a director and shareholder of Patientrack (MKM Consulting, Canberra), an electronic system for monitoring patients’ vital signs and issuing alerts to appropriate clinicians.


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