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A Prospective Observational Cohort Study of Calls for Help in a Tertiary Care Academic Operating Room Suite

Ricks, Cameron J. MD; Ma, Michael W. BS; Gastelum, Jennifer R. MD; Rajan, Govind R. MD; Rinehart, Joseph B. MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003667
Patient Safety

While significant literature exists on hospital-based “code calls,” there is a lack of research on calls for help in the operating room (OR). The purpose of this study was to quantify the rate and nature of calls for help in the OR of a tertiary care hospital. For a 1-year period, all calls were recorded in the main OR at The University of California, Irvine Medical Center. The average rate of calls per 1000 anesthesia hours was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1–1.8), corresponding to a rate of 5.0 (3.8–6.5) calls per 1000 cases. Airway (44%), cardiac (32%), and hemorrhagic (11%) emergencies were the most common etiologies. Thirty-day mortality approached 11% for patients who required a call for help in the OR.

From the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California.

Published ahead of print 11 June 2018.

Accepted for publication June 11, 2018.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s website.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Cameron J. Ricks, MD, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, 333 The City Blvd W, Suite 2150, Orange, CA 92868. Address e-mail to

Copyright © 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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