Skip to main content

Table 1 Risks to in-hospital resuscitation teams and potential preventive strategies to mitigate risk

From: Hospital resuscitation teams: a review of the risks to the healthcare worker

Risk category Specific risks and potential exposures Potential preventive actions and solutions
Infectious □ Percutaneous/needlestick injuries
□ Respiratory/airborne exposures
□ Contact exposures
□ Emerging/re-emerging infections
□ Convenient sharps disposal
□ Use of needles with safety features
□ Blood-borne pathogens training for all employees
□ Reporting of needlestick injuries with post-exposure medical evaluations and prophylaxis
□ Breathing filter during mask ventilation
□ Clearly defined roles for staff regarding: who is responsible for blood draw, central line placement, etc.
Electrical □ Shock during defibrillation
□ ICD misfiring
□ Fire generation near oxygen-rich atmospheres
□ Standard maintenance of defibrillators
□ Training of resuscitation team members on the use of defibrillators
□ Placing a donut magnet over ICDs; consider including on code cart
□ Clear announcement of impending defibrillation
□ Preferential use of gel adhesive pads instead of hand-held paddles. If paddles are used, avoidance of excess amounts of conduction gel
□ Consider removal of supplemental oxygen from bed prior to defibrillation
Musculoskeletal □ Neck/back injuries during/following chest compressions
□ Falls while running to code situations
□ Training to providers on proper posture and chest compression technique
□ Adjust height of bed during chest compressions and/or use of step stools
□ Adequate number of chest compressors to allow recovery and reduce resuscitator fatigue
Chemical □ Risks of chemical warfare □ Programs for decontamination of victims of chemical warfare
Irradiative □ Exposure during cross-table cervical spine radiographs with manual cervical spine stabilization, generally in trauma patients
□ Brachytherapy patients
□ Maximize distance between provider and radiation beam
□ Use of lead-lined gloves, lead aprons, thyroid shields, and glasses
Psychological □ Traumatic stress with short- and long-term mental and physical impact □ Stress management programs
□ De-briefing following resuscitation efforts, ideally within less than 72 h and in a non-threatening manner
□ Counseling and related programs for depression, PTSD and, overall mental health well-being
□ Implementation of “death rounds”