Have you “CORED” lately? A comprehensive operating room evacuation drill


  • Alexander Hart, MD
  • Meg Femino, HEM
  • Bryan Sears, HEM
  • Adam Wolberg, BA
  • Charles H. Cook, MD, FACS
  • Alok Gupta, MD, FACS




evacuation, simulation, operating room


Introduction: Crises in the operating room (OR) are uncommon events that require an expeditious response from all providers to minimize morbidity and mortality to both patients and staff. Evacuation during a surgical procedure presents a unique challenge. There is a paucity of data on the ideal response, ideal times, and training needs for hospital staff.

Methods: The authors herein describe a full-scale simulation exercise of the emergent mid-procedure evacuation of seven ORs.

Results: Median time to evacuate from the OR and reach the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit safety point was 3:50 minutes (range, 1:22 minutes to 6:00 minutes). Multiple lessons were learned from direct observation, post-drill debrief, and post-drill survey of participants.

Conclusions: Emergent mid-procedure evacuation of ORs can be expeditious if needed. Critical themes in leadership, communication, and coordination of care were discovered. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and OR staff should consider performing an OR evacuation drill to improve their local efficacy and efficiency in emergent OR evacuation.

Author Biographies

Alexander Hart, MD

Director of Education, Fellowship in Disaster Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Meg Femino, HEM

Senior Director of Emergency Management, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Bryan Sears, HEM

Director of Emergency Preparedness, Colleges of the Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts

Adam Wolberg, BA

Medical Student, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pennsylvania

Charles H. Cook, MD, FACS

Chief of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Alok Gupta, MD, FACS

Division of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts


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How to Cite

Hart, MD, A., M. Femino, HEM, B. Sears, HEM, A. Wolberg, BA, C. H. Cook, MD, FACS, and A. Gupta, MD, FACS. “Have You ‘CORED’ Lately? A Comprehensive Operating Room Evacuation Drill”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 13, no. 4, Oct. 2018, pp. 239-52, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2018.0304.




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