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Emergency codes

Holland Bloorview aims to provide a safe and secure environment for all patients, visitors, staff and volunteers. It is possible that while you are visiting Holland Bloorview you will hear an emergency code called over the public address system. Staff are trained to respond to these codes.  They will provide direction on what you need to do during a code.  

What are emergency codes?

An emergency code is an alert that tells the entire hospital of an event that requires immediate action. Specific colours are assigned depending on the type of code that is being called. Holland Bloorview uses the colour codes set by the Ontario Hospital Association to represent specific emergencies. The use of the same codes by all hospitals in Ontario, helps to quickly share important information to staff responsible to respond to the codes.

How are emergency codes called?

In the case of an emergency including identification of any of the colour codes listed below, dial 5555 from any internal hospital phone. State your location and describe the emergency.

If you have questions about any of the information listed below, or have any additional questions, please feel free to ask any staff member.

EMERGENCY CODES
RedCode Red: FireBlueCode Blue: Medical Emergency
WhiteCode White: Violent/aggressive behaviourBrownCode Brown: Chemical spill
GreenCode Green: EvacuationYellowCode Yellow: Missing client
OrangeCode Orange: External disasterBlackCode Black: Bomb threat
PurpleCode Purple: Internal threatHold and SecureHold and Secure: External threat
Code GreyCode Grey: External air quality issue  

 

Code Red

The Code Red policy and procedures defines how to respond in case of a fire, a fire alarm or smell of smoke.

Here at Holland Bloorview, staff use the REACT model:

Remove anyone in danger
Ensure all windows & doors are closed
Activate the fire alarm
Call 5555
Take appropriate action such as notifying other staff and visitors

In the event of a Code Red, the fire alarm will sound and overhead announcements will be made. If you are in the affected area, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Follow the instructions given to you by staff or any other first responders.
  • If you discover a fire, activate the nearest fire alarm pull station or dial 5555 on the nearest internal phone to report your location and the emergency.
Code Blue

Code Blue is used to alert staff of a medical emergency (such as prolonged seizures, fainting or breathing issues). A Code Blue triggers a response from the hospital medical team (on site physicians, nursing and respiratory therapy).

In the case of a Code Blue, suspected Code Blue or medical emergency, remember to

  • Remain calm
  • Alert the closest staff member, depress the code blue button within the inpatient room or dial 5555 from the closest hospital telephone,
  • Wait for instruction from staff
Code White

Code white is used when the safety of any person is at risk due to an individual’s escalating or aggressive behaviour; or if they are in danger of hurting themselves.  Staff who are trained in non-violent crisis intervention will respond to the code. The police will be involved as appropriate.

In the case of a Code White, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Remove yourself from the affected area/Do not enter the affected area
  • Listen to the instruction of staff
Code Brown

Code Brown is used to describe a hazardous spill or leak within the hospital which could include but is not limited to a chemical spill or gas leak.

In the event of a Code Brown, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Remove yourself from the affected area/Do not enter the affected area
  • Listen to the instruction of staff
Code Green

Code Green refers to an evacuation that needs to take place in the event of an emergency where the hospital or a portion of the hospital is/or may become unsafe.

During a Code Green, the fire alarm evacuation signal will be heard throughout the hospital (120 beats per minute). It will sound for five minutes, with overhead announcements being made to provide you with more detailed instructions.

In the event of a Code Green, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • If in immediate danger, remove yourself from the affected area
  • Do not enter the affected area
  • If within the affected area, stay with your family
  • Follow the directions and guidance of staff
Code Yellow

Code Yellow refers to a missing client. When a client is reported missing, staff start a systematic search process (Code Yellow search) to locate the person which may include entering inpatient, clinic or accommodation rooms or any other locked room. The police will be involved as appropriate. In the event of a Code Yellow, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Listen to the instruction of staff
Code Orange

The Code Orange policy and procedures outlines a safe and effective response to a disaster outside Holland Bloorview property for example a plane or bus crash or natural disaster such as earthquake or flooding.

In the case of a Code Orange, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Follow guidance from staff and responding emergency officials
  • Emergency patients will be triaged (assessed based on need) and may be redirected to other areas of the hospital, another facility or home
Code Black

The Code Black policy and procedures outline a safe and effective response to a bomb threat. The police will be involved as appropriate. The response may include entering inpatient, clinic or accommodation rooms or any other locked room. In the event of a Code Black, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not touch any suspicious objects
  • Report any suspicious objects or activity to staff
  • Listen to the instruction of staff
  • Discontinue any unnecessary cell phone or radio use until told that it is safe to do so
Code Purple (Internal Threat)

Code Purple is the response to an actual or potential threat including an armed individual on-site and is meant to reduce the risk of harm to everyone. There will be an overhead announcement notifying the affected area. In the event of a Code purple please hide in place, preferably an area that can be locked from the inside and lock the door.

  • Remain calm
  • Listen to the directions of staff
  • Put cell phones on silent
  • Close blinds and remain out of public view until Code Purple All Clear announcement is called
  • Do not attempt to remove any injured person from area
  • Do not respond or open doors
  • Even if police can be seen or heard, remain in place until the announcement has been made. Follow the directions of overhead announcements and police
Hold and Secure (External Threat)

Holland Bloorview also follows hold and secure procedures in the event of an external threat (safety event or criminal activity in the neighborhood, outside the walls of the main site). There will be an overhead audio announcement notifying the affected area. Staff and emergency responders will respond to reduce the risk of harm. In the event of a hold and secure, remember to:

  • Remain calm and stay inside the building
  • Listen to the directions of staff
  • Close blinds and remain out of public view until the All Clear announcement is called
Code Grey

Code Grey is the Emergency Colour Code designation used to alert staff of an external air quality issue.  

In the event of a Code Grey, remember:

  • Remain calm
  • Close all exterior windows and doors
  • Remain inside the building until All Clear announcement is called
  • Listen to the instruction of staff

Pandemic-Influenza Plan

An influenza (flu) pandemic is an outbreak of the influenza virus that spreads rapidly around the world. Flu pandemics arise when a new strain of the virus emerges against which people have little or no immunity. The hospital has a Pandemic plan that has been developed to ensure our readiness in the event of pandemic influenza.

The plan includes:

  • Strategies to optimize beds and staff, such as re-deploying staff to the areas of the hospital where they are most needed.
  • Examining overflow areas within the hospital to treat patients who become ill with the flu.
  • Examining ways to ensure the hospital has enough staff during the pandemic flu outbreak. Discussions with other area hospitals, including our Child Health Network partners, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Toronto Public Health.

How can you protect your family and yourself from infection?

When a pandemic is declared, pay attention to public health messages about who is at risk. In the meantime:

  • Discuss with your Family Doctor or Pediatrician about getting a flu shot every year.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you are sick don't go to work or to school.

If you have questions about any of the information listed above, or have additional questions, please feel free to ask any staff member.