Emergency in the Ambulatory Surgery Center: Are You Prepared?

Know your CAB’s (Formerly ABC’s)

Unfortunately, not all emergencies can be prevented.  In these cases, “you always refer to the fundamental CAB’s that are taught in BLS CPR and AHA advanced cardiac life support training programs that we offer onsite throughout the state of Indiana – Make sure the patient has an open airway, once the airway is open make sure the patient is breathing or oxygenating.  Then assess the patient’s circulation and perform any necessary resuscitation procedures.

Create an action plan for your facility

There are four broad categories of emergencies that can occur in an ASC:

  • Those that can be resolved by the ASC staff.
  • Those that require a consultation with a patient’s primary care physician
  • Those that require a consultation with an ophthalmology subspecialist
  • Those that require the patient to be transferred to a hospital

Having a predetermined plan of action with personnel trained to carry out the plan and keep adequate supplies and proper functioning equipment on hand is essential for managing an emergency.  All ASC’s should  have a written emergency plan that delineates the specific responsibilities unique to each staff member and their corresponding skills, detailing what measures should be taken in the event of an emergency.

Time to act it out

Mock or simulation training is far more effective than simply reviewing the plan.  SMRT INDIANA conducts simulations with your staff that are specific to BLS CPR, ACLS, or PALS.  SMRT gives you the opportunity to determine whether everyone knows their role and to verify that they all know how to respond to an emergency as it evolves.  This kind of role play allows each person to understand their responsibility and how it fits into the overall process.  It also gives the team the opportunity to find any problems with the process before actually dealing with a patient.  You find holes in your system before you have a patient in front of you.  It is the most realistic way to train without putting patients at risk.