When The Power Goes Out In The OR

I´m in Honduras with International Relief Teams as part of a Head and Neck surgical team. Here in Honduras, or in any developing country, the power supply can be unpredictable. With the violent lightning storms we´ve been having, the lights have gone off several times in the last few days.

Usually the hospital generator starts immediately, but this morning there was a delay in getting the power back on. As fate would have it, the power went out right after extubating a patient from general anesthesia and just as the patient began to vomit.

While power failures in hospitals in the United States are thankfully rare, they do happen. I was in one surgicenter in San Diego quit a few years ago when the power went out during a storm, and then lightning hit our emergency backup generator. Total blackout in the ORs. So one always needs to be prepared. Continue reading