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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 5765202, 7 pages
Research Article

Blood Lactate Is a Useful Indicator for the Medical Emergency Team

1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Östersund Hospital, 83183 Östersund, Sweden
2Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, 90185 Umeå, Sweden
3Department of Surgical Sciences, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Uppsala University, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden
4Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Unit of Research, Education and Development-Östersund, Umeå University, 83183 Östersund, Sweden

Received 30 November 2015; Revised 2 February 2016; Accepted 7 February 2016

Academic Editor: Samuel A. Tisherman

Copyright © 2016 Maria Schollin-Borg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lactate has been thoroughly studied and found useful for stratification of patients with sepsis, in the Intensive Care Unit, and trauma care. However, little is known about lactate as a risk-stratification marker in the Medical Emergency Team- (MET-) call setting. We aimed to determine whether the arterial blood lactate level at the time of a MET-call is associated with increased 30-day mortality. This is an observational study on a prospectively gathered cohort at a regional secondary referral hospital. All MET-calls during the two-year study period were eligible. Beside blood lactate, age and vital signs were registered at the call. Among the 211 calls included, there were 64 deaths (30.3%). Median lactate concentration at the time of the MET-call was 1.82 mmol/L (IQR 1.16–2.7). We found differences between survivors and nonsurvivors for lactate and oxygen saturation, a trend for age, but no significant correlations between mortality and systolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate. As compared to normal lactate (<2.44 mmol/L), OR for 30-day mortality was 3.54 () for lactate 2.44–5.0 mmol/L and 4.45 () for lactate > 5.0 mmol/L. The present results support that immediate measurement of blood lactate in MET call patients is a useful tool in the judgment of illness severity.