Disaster Code Called Today

  1. Our community hospital had a "Code Blue" today (disaster code). Initially, I thought it was a drill (although we usually know when they're coming) because JCAHO is going to be here in 20 days. And now that I'm the nurse recruiter and not on the floor, I figured I just missed the info that a drill was happening.

    I happened to be on the Telemetry Unit for another matter when it was called...wasn't too concerned (gotta be a drill) until I saw the Nurse Manager of ICU going tearing down the hall and into the stairway. Then my heart started pounding and ran down the hall and stairway with her. Initial report: a middle school across the street had collapsed, kids were streaming in by ambulance. (kids were streaming in by ambulance but building did not collapse--those were initial WRONG reports).

    Apparently several kids had become ill during a choral concert rehearsal and had gone to the school nurse; no big deal. Everyone was sent back to their rooms when concert was done and principal was on loudspeaker congratulating job well done. She then got call that at 20 kids were in nurse's office and 911 was being called; too many to triage. Medics came and said "E.R. now" (I think 2 kids passed out.) They weren't sure if it was an overly warm auditorium or the dry ice that they used during one of the songs.

    So, in all, 37 kids were transported to ambulance to our E.R. I ran down and moved a couple people out of the E.R. and into the unit to make room in the E.R. Then I got nabbed and put in charge of "Liaison Room" for parents looking for their kids as the media was right on this.

    It was a very very busy day. Kids were eventually determined to be fine and sent home. I just wanted to say how very proud I was of my hospital and all the staff I worked with today. They just excelled in organizing this and getting the kids treated and maintaining order. The school principal was there and was just amazed at how well everything went. She said, "I know you guys are trained to handle this but this is just amazing."

    It's nice to know the system works. I'm very proud to be a nurse today.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    That is the one where the dry ice used for special effects sucked all the O2 out of the air. I did not even know that could happen. At least that's what they said on the news.
  4. by   Zee_RN
    Yeah that's the one. But the principal said there were just 3 little pots of dry ice on the stage....and there was no relationship between proximity to the stage and exhibition of symptoms. You'd think it would be all the kids ON the stage and the kids in the immediate area...not reaching all the way back to the back rows of the auditorium. That's A LOT of 02 to suck up. I'm thinking there was some panic reactions going and kids were hyperventilating. We even received a couple kids who were not even in the SAME BUILDING (hyperventilating). Blood gases were normal (poor kids!).
  5. by   oramar
    It is good that every thing turned out well. Sounds like you all did an excellent job. I do not know what actually happened but from time to time one of these hysteria things go through a school. This is the first one I have heard of in a while.
  6. by   pkmom
    I used to be a music major and after I passed out in choir I did a little research on it. Sometimes one kid will lock his knees and pass out and a bunch of other kids follow. one author I read thought it was just a mental thing. The group fainting isn't common amoung choirs, but does happen. It was interesting reading.
  7. by   Zee_RN
    Mostly it was kids in the audience...front rows, back rows, middle rows. Really weird.

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