The critical-assessment team, or CAT as it is known at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Fla., started in August 2005 as part of the VHA Rapid Adoption of the Rapid Response Program. The two main goals of the CAT team are to reduce mortality rates and reduce the number of code blues that happen outside the intensive-care unit.
CAT is called when a patient meets the criteria, or the nurse has a bad feeling (that gut feeling) that something is wrong and needs a little help to figure it out. Parrish Medical Center's CAT criteria are as follows:
- Heart rate: less than 40 or greater than 130.
- Systolic blood pressure: less than 90.
- Respiratory rate: less than eight or greater than 28.
- Pulse oximetry: Less than 90% despite oxygen.
- Urine output: Less than 50 cc in four hours.
- Change in level of consciousness or altered mental status.
- Nurse is concerned about the patient.