Worried your loved one is “going downhill” in the hospital and no one is responding to your concerns?

You know your loved one best. If you ever spot changes in their condition that signal trouble to you – but the medical staff can’t or won’t respond, you may call the equivalent of 911 in the hospital.

From the landline, dial O/operator. Say the room number and

“I need a Rapid Response Team”


“I’m calling a Condition Help”

We are haunted by the story of a dad in Milwaukee who sat bedside with his wife during labor.

He was increasingly distressed by her increasing difficulties in breathing.  Several times, he sought out nurses and begged them to check on his wife but heard…  “in a few minutes”, “too busy right now with other patients”.  By the time they got to his wife,  it was too late.

This mother could have been saved if her husband had known about Condition Help.

Hospitals are required to share info about this service with patients, but it is often buried in the packets of paperwork patients receive. Only a tiny minority of hospitals share Condition Help procedures on wall posters or other obvious places.

Why? When introduced around 2005, hospitals worried that Condition Help would be called for “frivolous reasons” (i.e., nurses failing to bring an extra blanket quickly enough), but studies have shown this is not the case at all.

In fact, studies show: Condition Help and rapid response teams save lives.  Last week, we shared 5 “magic” words to help you get good care in five health care situations.

Add these five words to your list…

“I’m calling a Condition Help”

Then, let’s hope you never need to use them.

See more TIPS (Tools and Information for Patient Safety) – read the tip on alarm fatigue, especially. It’s another situation when patients’ Care Partners need to raise their own alarms to get medical staff to a hospital room!