Rapid Response Team Activation Triggers in Adults and Children: An Integrative Review



This integrative review aims to identify the triggers for rapid response team (RRT) activation and their outcomes in pediatric patients and to compare them with those of adult patients. In addition, this integrative review synthesizes the outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), intensive care unit (ICU) admission, length of hospital stay, and mortality following RRT activation.


An integrative review using the Whittemore and Knafl methodology was undertaken with a search of three large databases (PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and CINAHL) and found 25 relevant studies published in the years 2017 through 2022.


Tachypnea, decreased oxygen saturation, tachycardia, changes in blood pressure, and level of consciousness were the most common triggers in both populations. However, specific activation triggers differed between children and adults.


The most common triggers for RRT are detectable through vital signs monitoring; therefore, vigilant tracking of patients’ vital signs is critical and can provide early clues to clinical deterioration.

withyou android app