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Dr. Michael DeVita, Director of Critical Care Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, is publishing an updated edition of his textbook on rapid response systems.

The book, “Textbook of Rapid Response Systems,” explains how and why hospitals should create rapid response teams.

“The book is how to do it,” Dr. DeVita says. “Soup to nuts—why they should be put together, how to put them together and how to prove you’re getting the results you want to get.”

The book is written for students, clinicians, researchers and administrators.

Rapid response teams (or RRTs) are deployed in hospitals when patients appear to be in danger of going into cardiac arrest. “As the patient deteriorates, you send out an RRT team to prevent cardiac arrest,” Dr. DeVita says.

The warning signs include very high or very low heat rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and mental function.

Hospitals that use RRTs have seen a 70 percent reduction in cardiac arrests among patients.

“The book deals with how to recognize a deteriorating patient, how to treat them, how to organize the response, how to measure the effectiveness of the response and how the hospital can pay for it,” Dr. DeVita says.

RRTs were first used in the late 1990s. All hospitals in the United States now have RRTs since the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations made them a requirement in 2009.

The textbook was first published in 2010. The second edition, which includes scientific advances, will be made available for order by Springer Publishing in January and will be released in May. The co-editors are Kenneth Hillman, FCICM Professor of Intensive Care Director of the Simpson Centre for Health Systems Research, the University of New South Wales, and Renaldo Bellomo, MD Chair, Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne.