KEYC - Preparing For An Operating Room Emergency

Preparing For An Operating Room Emergency

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There's always a risk with any surgery, no matter how small.

To prepare for those rare complications when a patient is under anesthesia, operating room staff are training how to handle those life or death situations.

In the operating room...

Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont Surgical Services Nurse Manager Ryan Schmidtke said, "Most of our cases are safe, healthy, elective patients."

But sometimes, a procedure can go from normal into dangerous territory.

Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont CRN Anesthetist Matt Jewett said, "Something unexpected. It's something that if it happens has the potential to have negative outcomes."

To prepare for these rare occurrences, 15 staff members who work or assist in the OR at Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont are running through simulations when a patient is under anesthesia.

Schmidtke said, "This provides them that real life training where it's not a patient, so if we do make that mistake, we're not affecting patient care."

Members of the Mayo Clinic Simulation Department facilitated the training, covering three types of anesthesia OR emergencies: Cardiac arrest, mass hemorrhage and difficult airway.

Jewett said, "It's essential that we have practice doing them so that in the real situation, it's not the first time for us."

The training has been in the works since early this year, helping to provide staff with the experience and feedback that can be a lifesaver in those critical moments.

Schmidtke said, "Learning from that and talking as a group as to what could be have done differently. Did we follow our policies, processes and procedures, was there anything else we could do to support."

Building a set of skills, no matter the operation, the OR can't do without.

Jewett said, "The teamwork, the ability to interact with our co–workers is going to be top notch because of this training."

To help make this training possible for Fairmont's staff, employees from Rochester helped to cover their duties.

It's helpful to make sure the quality of care in rural areas meets the need of patients. 

Jewett said, "In the rural setting, without extra hands and help, that we have the ability to take care of these things that we can take care of patients here in Fairmont, and I think it's a benefit to us as staff and it's a benefit to the community as well."

--KEYC News 12