Fatal Five Fundamentals Single User eLearn Course


This course delivers essential knowledge on the Fatal Five for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and general staff. The Fatal Five (previously known as the Fatal Four) refers to the top five conditions linked to preventable deaths of persons in congregate care settings or in community-based residential settings. These eLearning courses are intended for clinicians and other caretakers who require knowledge of the Fatal Five fundamentals in order to provide appropriate care and support.

While the issues can differ in the order of frequency depending on the population being represented, the five conditions most likely to result in death or health deterioration for persons with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities are:

  • Aspiration
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Infection/Sepsis

For the purposes of non-clinical staff, infection is focused on since one cannot develop sepsis without an infection. Clinical staff will keep an eye out for sepsis while non-clinicians should focus on preventing and treating infections.

Approximate Length of Course: 3 hours 45 minutes

  • How to spot the Fatal Five signs and symptoms
  • Effectively report them
  • Take actionable steps when any of these occur
  • Learn from real-world scenarios and over 200 interactive questions to ensure the learner’s knowledge
Course Modules:
  1. Aspiration – 30 minutes
  2. Bowel Obstruction – 37 minutes
  3. Dehydration – 27 minutes
  4. Seizures – 36 minutes
  5. Infection – 31 minutes
  6. GERD – 31 minutes
  7. When to Act – 33 minutes
How it works:
  1. Once you purchase the course, you will receive an email within 1 business day with your username and password.
  2. You will have 6 months to successfully complete the eLearn course.
  3. Once you have completed the course, you will receive your Certificate of Completion or CEU Certificate.
  4. Within the 6 months, feel free to review the material as much as you like!
Course Development and Usage: 
IntellectAbility collaborated with the University of Georgia and Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, with guidance from the Department of Justice, to produce a series of eLearn courses discussing the Fatal Five conditions considered preventable causes of death in people with IDD. These online courses are part of our comprehensive spectrum of developmental disabilities training resources, and include targeted training for staff working with developmentally disabled adults and children. To be effective, classes for developmental disabilities care services require insight into the unique health risks of those with IDD.

These self-paced eLearning courses are filled with videos, interactive exercises and visual aids to assist in training, with content designed to constantly engage the student and improve data retention. The result is a student of any educational level who can feel empowered to observe, make informed decisions and take action.

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