What Do Those Hospital Codes Mean Anyway? MountainStar Answers

MountainStar Healthcare put out a great blog post a few months ago and we wanted to share it with you. If you’ve ever spent time in a hospital or watched any of the popular hospital-based T.V. shows, you’re probably familiar with the color codes we use to alert hospital staff. For example, you might hear “Code Blue, Code Blue” over the loudspeaker at any U.S. hospital. Code Blue is likely the one that most are familiar with but there are others.

What do they all mean? Well, MountainStar has you covered. Here’s an excerpt from their blog.

Code Blue – Cardiac arrest

This one is called anytime a patient, visitor or employee “goes down.” Often, the cause is a heart attack, which calls for fast, life-saving care. Other times, the code prompts a “better safe than sorry” response for a person who passed out due to a less-critical medical condition. Regardless, hospital personnel react as if it’s a worst-case scenario.

Upon hearing the overhead call for help, a well-oiled “on-call” Code Blue team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and other nearby medical professionals rush to perform CPR and deliver whatever level of care that person needs.

Code Pink – Possible infant abduction

Safety for all patients is primary, and security is the utmost concern for precious babies born at our hospitals. Each one of them is fitted with an ankle “bracelet;” this technology triggers an alarm if a newborn is carried outside a designated area.

In response, all hospital personnel – regardless of their title or job – are spurred to action. They move quickly to stairwells and exits, where they screen or stop people, especially anyone carrying a bag that could conceal a newborn. Visitors with babies are asked to remain in the building until the code is “all clear.” In the unlikely event that an infant is abducted despite these precautions, hospital staff would contact authorities and call for an amber alert.

Code Red – Fire!

Universal at almost every hospital across the country, this code alerts the staff if a fire breaks out in the building. They follow the acronym RACER (Rescue, Alarm, Contain, Extinguish and Relocate) while quickly and effectively responding to the situation. The goal is to keep patients, visitors and staff out of harm’s way, and take the most appropriate action – either fight the fire or evacuate the building.

Most hospitals have well over eight codes related to safety or patient care. Many use additional colors for other types of situations. It’s good to know that employees, physicians and even volunteers at MountainStar hospitals are well-trained to quickly and appropriately respond to each unique “call to action” – regardless of what code is announced.

MountainStar has lots of other interesting posts on their blog that you should check out when you have a moment. Here are a few we recommend.

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