What to Do During a Code Blue

 In Nurses Weekly

A code blue is a terrifying experience as a nurse. It’s stressful for experienced nurses and those on the code team, but even more for inexperienced or new nurses. Let’s look at what code blue is and how to respond as a nurse so that you are prepared.

What is a Code Blue?

A code blue is called when a patient experiences unexpected cardiac or respiratory arrest that requires resuscitation and activation of a hospital-wide alert.

These cardiac or respiratory arrests are handled by the “code team” of the hospital. However, if a nurse is nearby, he or she will have to step in and begin immediately until the code team arrives.

There is Code Blue training for nurses so they can learn how to properly and quickly respond to these codes. If you haven’t taken one of these pieces of training, look for one near you.

When to Call Code Blue

The decision to call a code blue will happen in a matter of seconds, so you have to think fast. You will know to call a code blue when the patient isn’t pumping the oxygenated blood they need to survive due to cardiac or respiratory arrest. In other words, if their heart stops pumping or they stop breathing.

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