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Archive March 2019 XX, No. 3

Legal Update: Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Legal nurse consultant: Prepare for a crisis before you have one.

Claire Cyriax

Claire Cyriax, DNP, RN, MSN-Ed, LNC, CAPA


Steve Debenport
PREPARE FOR THE WORST Mock emergency drills will give your staff the confidence and experience they need to handle a real-life emergency.

The 18-month-old in the recovery room wasn’t my case, but then his care took a sudden turn. When the toddler became hypoxic, the anesthesiologist looked at me and yelled for my help because of my background. I’m a CPR instructor. I’m trained to offer advanced life support to pediatric and adult patients. The anesthesiologist knew I could help when he really needed me. And so, we went to work.

We were able to save that 18-month-old toddler who needed CPR, and we took great relief that he made it through. I didn’t think I’d need to perform CPR that day, but I was prepared. I had the training. We’d practiced the emergency drills and made sure our code carts were properly checked and stocked for such an emergency.

When it was all over, we looked at how we handled the situation. There were a few things we could have handled differently, and we learned from it. Take it from a legal nurse consultant. Every surgical facility needs to prepare for an emergency. As a surgical facility leader, you should ask yourself if you’d be ready in a similar circumstance. If you’re not, you’re leaving yourself wide open to a lawsuit. More importantly, you’re putting your patients at risk.

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