Debriefing last Friday’s Code Orange
Submitted by Karen Suk-Patrick, VP People and Support Services
On Friday, January 14, a Code Orange was called after it was discovered our bulk oxygen supply was running low. Initial inspection that day revealed three of four alarms failed to work to indicate the main supply was low and we had been switched to our reserve tank. As a result, an Incident Management System (IMS) was called.
Due to concerns we could potentially deplete the oxygen before an urgent delivery of oxygen would arrive, we called a Code Orange and diverted all ambulances from our hospital for about two hours. A number of other measures were put in place to conserve oxygen use. In addition, staff were kept on site in case we had to move to our contingency plans which included utilizing our small, supplementary oxygen tanks. The bulk oxygen delivery arrived at 4:43 p.m. and the Code Orange was cleared at approximately 5:15 p.m.
That night, technicians from our oxygen supplier, Linde, did an initial inspection. They determined the gauge was not reading the oxygen values correctly. It was recalibrated and tested, as were all the alarms. Before they left, they were able to verify the storage tanks were full and the gauge was reading correctly. The technicians planned to return Monday for further investigation but were delayed a day due to the snow storm. In the meantime, the oxygen levels would continue to be manually monitored twice a day over the weekend with the readings reported to the vendor. An early delivery of oxygen was also requested for this week due to steady and increasing demands for oxygen due to our patient acuity. On Tuesday, the technicians returned, did further testing and found the electrical conduit containing the alarm signal wires was damaged. It was replaced.
We held an incident debrief yesterday and have taken a number of steps since Friday to ensure we do not run into this issue again. These include:
- Continue with twice daily, onsite monitoring of oxygen level and send the readings to Linde
- Install a remote monitoring system which will send in real time our oxygen utilization to Linde
- Complete a full Engineering Assessment of our oxygen system
- Put in a request to increase the frequency of oxygen shipments
- Work with Medbuy and supplier to ensure all contractual obligations are met
- Facilities, working with the Clinical Team, will be purchasing the back-up equipment, including large, back-up, oxygen tanks, regulators and hoses which we found we needed as part of our contingency plan
A small working group will be developing a “Code Grey – Low Oxygen” algorithm that will capture many of our learnings from the Code Orange.
What happened Friday was a significant incident and we are grateful for the incredible teamwork and response across the organization. We will take the learnings from this event to be even better prepared for the future.
What’s On Your Mind? answers posted
This time around there’s two questions and three comments – looking for a quiet space and staff parking rates. Please remember, “What’s on Your Mind?” is hosted on our Intranet and only viewable within the organization.
Staff booster clinic this Friday
We will be running our COVID-19 Vaccine third dose Booster Clinic in the Auditorium from 8:15 a.m. – noon. Sign up sheets are outside Employee Health. The Moderna vaccine will be administered.
Q: What mRNA vaccine is best for my next dose?
A: Bottom line: The mRNA vaccine offered to you. Brand name does not matter. Reduce your risk and protect yourself from COVID-19.
In Ontario, there is currently a much greater supply of the Moderna vaccine compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Both are mRNA vaccines. For people 30 years of age or older receiving an mRNA vaccine primary series and/or booster dose, it is well established that either mRNA vaccine product can be used safely and effectively.
In order to minimize the rare risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis in adolescents and young adults, the current supply of Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine is being preferentially administered to adolescents and young adults 12 to 29 years of age. When the same mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that you received previously is not readily available, the other mRNA vaccine product is considered interchangeable if recommended for use in your age group.
Guelph’s COVID Assessment Centre expands services
Local COVID-19 Assessment Centres are providing a variety of services to better serve the community and to help relieve some of the extraordinary pressures on Emergency Departments.
Starting today, the Guelph COVID Assessment Centre is offering a new service option for those seeking care and treatment from a clinician for moderate COVID-19 symptoms. The service is by appointment only and can be booked by calling the Centre during its open hours. PCR testing will continued to be offered by appointment only for those who meet the provincial criteria. To discover if one qualifies to be tested, the province has an online screening tool. The Guelph Centre can be reached by calling (226) 773-1922 weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Appointments must be made in advance with walk-in appointments not available.
Peer Support for Healthcare Workers
ECHO Coping with COVID is designed for those in healthcare (both providers and students) who are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. ECHO is provided virtually, where attendees join through videoconference technology to “share and learn about ways to build resilience and overall wellness through didactic lectures and case-based discussions.” This is a free service and is run two times a month on Friday afternoons (2:00-3:00pm EST). Click here for more information and resources, and here to register.
January Wellness Sessions: Reminder
If you are planning on attending any of the Homewood wellness webinars this month and have not yet had a chance to register, please email HealthAndWellness@gghorg.ca to receive a meeting invitation and the WebEx login details. As a reminder, the following sessions are being offered:
Journey to Wellness (Jan. 20, 2:30-3:30pm): This session will examine what wellness means and provides simple steps to help participants set their own health goals and keep them on track for achieving their personal definitions of wellness.
Beyond Stigma: Increasing our Understanding of Mental Health in the Workplace in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day (Jan. 26, 12-1pm): This session will assist participants in enhancing their understanding of the personal and environmental factors that can have an impact on mental health, the common signs and symptoms of mental health troubles, and the most appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.
Compassion Fatigue (Jan. 27, 2:30-3:30pm): This session will help participants understand the definitions, signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and burnout, as well as grief and loss, plus learn self-assessment tools and strategies to monitor and support one’s wellbeing.
You could already be a winner!
Over the holidays, we had a grateful family member of a patient drop off some special tokens of appreciation as a thank you to the GGH team. As usual, winners were picked via a random draw.
Included in the drop off were gift certificates for treats from TOP Photography, Cakes and Consulting as well as some Pampered Chef ceramic egg cookers. Lucky winners can be found HERE. Winning items are available for pick up in the Foundation Office Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30. If you have questions, please contact the Foundation at x6422