Which is the priority??

Nurses Safety


I work in a 300 bed hospital, large enough to do CABG, etc. I work in the CICU and was the relief charge one day. We knew that there was a problem in our Special Procedures dept. and that a patient was bleeding and may need to go to surgery. We hadn't received the patient yet, then a Code Red (fire) was called up on the 3rd floor. We are on the 2nd floor and Specials is on the 1st floor. It can take up to 15 minutes to clear a Code Red, but Specials called a said they were on their way since the patient was getting critical and surgery wasn't ready for them. I told them they can't come during a Code Red--everybody is supposed to stay where they are and assist in the dept. where they're stuck during a fire--drill or not. That's my understanding of a Code Red anyway. My supervisor was there and said the priority was the patient, that we needed to get them up to the Unit. Now which is it? What are we supposed to do with this patient if it's a REAL fire and need to evacuate?? I intend to bring this up at the next staff meeting, but am afraid to open a can of worms. Who decides--the Safety Officer, my supervisor--Who?? They want us to react during a fire drill as if the fire was real--am I going to be taking patients during a REAL fire??:confused:


693 Posts

I would not risk my patient's safety either way.

If I were sure that this was only a drill, I would not insist that the transfer is delayed. (Imagine the lawyers standing in line to take this case! Or, better yet, imagine that this was your family member that needed to be transported!)

If I did not know whether this was a drill or a real fire, I'd find out -- call security or the house supervisor, and tell them you have a critical patient that needs to be transported NOW , so you need to know!

Since your supervisor was there at the time, you did not need to call.


85 Posts

If this was only a drill I would definitely have the critical patient transferred right away, but if it is a real fire you're putting the patient @ a greater risk. I think that when the Code Red is called, it should be clarified if it is only a drill, for emergency situations.


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

Agree with jemb and NDodd.


156 Posts

If you knew it was a drill (100%) then it would be ok to move the pt.

If it was a real fire, you might end up putting the pt in even more danger. What would happen if an evac was called? Youd now be one patient away from a complete evac.

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