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About the Author

AnnMarie Fitzgerald Chase, MSN, RN, CEN is a Clinical Educator living in Derry, N.H.

Her Professional Nursing experience includes working in Telemetry, ICU, the Emergency Department and Instructing RN students.

She is currently the Clinical Nurse Educator for Hallmark Health Systems Emergency Departments, which include both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Massachusetts.

AnnMarie is a Board Certified Emergency Nurse, who enjoys teaching ACLS and is also a new TNCC instructor.

AnnMarie earned her BSN from Regis College in Weston, MA and completed her MSN with a concentration in Education in November 2009.




Welcome to Code Communications, ZOLL's online resuscitation newsletter for hospital clinicians. Each edition explores a new topic in the field of resuscitation with an emphasis on practical solutions for changing practice and improving outcomes.

Visit the Code Communications home page and access our newsletter archives covering a variety of topics including: early defibrillation, trends and new technologies in CPR and code documentation.

Team Communications in Emergencies

A two-year-old child arrived in the Emergency Department crying, wheezing out loud and rubbing her puffy eyes. Her face was red and hot, and her eyes were nearly swollen shut.  She had been dining out with her mother and somehow had an exposure to food containing peanuts, and this little girl, like so many others of her generation, was allergic.
     “Give that kid a milligram of Epi,” the Emergency Department Physician shouted.  He was standing in the doorway of another patient’s room, two doors down.  Karen, the RN assigned to that section of the ED, was just walking into the toddler’s room.
      “You mean 0.1 mg, right?” Karen clarified as she walked by the busy MD.
     “Yes, a milligram, you know what I mean, Karen,” he repeated back.
     “You mean 0.1 mg, of 1:1000 Epinephrine, SC…right Bob?” Karen answered back again while drawing up the medication in the room, as time was of the essence.  This child was in full-blown anaphylaxis and needed treatment immediately to prevent a code.
    There are certain aspects of resuscitation and emergency response that, after many years of practice, become routine for providers.  Add to that the comfort of working with familiar staff, and, at times, clinical response feels automatic.  But, consider the scenario described above that may have been different with an inexperienced RN, unfamiliar staff, or even just tired staff.  Imagine a new graduate taking this verbal order and not questioning it because it was an emergency.  The child could have ended up receiving a ten-fold overdose with potentially lethal consequences.  In these circumstances, effective communication is critical.  In this article, we will review the importance of respect, clear communication, and simple techniques to avoid errors during emergency and resuscitation situations.


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