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Have you “CORED” lately? A comprehensive operating room evacuation drill

Alexander Hart, MD, Meg Femino, HEM, Bryan Sears, HEM, Adam Wolberg, BA, Charles H. Cook, MD, FACS, Alok Gupta, MD, FACS


Introduction: Crises in the operating room (OR) are uncommon events that require an expeditious response from all providers to minimize morbidity and mortality to both patients and staff. Evacuation during a surgical procedure presents a unique challenge. There is a paucity of data on the ideal response, ideal times, and training needs for hospital staff.

Methods: The authors herein describe a full-scale simulation exercise of the emergent mid-procedure evacuation of seven ORs.

Results: Median time to evacuate from the OR and reach the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit safety point was 3:50 minutes (range, 1:22 minutes to 6:00 minutes). Multiple lessons were learned from direct observation, post-drill debrief, and post-drill survey of participants.

Conclusions: Emergent mid-procedure evacuation of ORs can be expeditious if needed. Critical themes in leadership, communication, and coordination of care were discovered. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and OR staff should consider performing an OR evacuation drill to improve their local efficacy and efficiency in emergent OR evacuation.


evacuation, simulation, operating room

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