How can emergency manuals help in critical anesthesia events? Why should I use an emergency manual?
The reality of the operating room environment is such that there are often a variety of things happening simultaneously and a number of distractions piled onto each situation. During a medical emergency, it is useful to have a cognitive aid to help organize an approach and provide reminders for critical bullet points that these situations require. This allows the provider to free up some cognitive reserve to focus on other priorities. It may be especially useful to have a quick reference for rare emergency situations or in practices where emergencies happen very infrequently or in remote non-OR settings, such as in the gastroenterology suite, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, and office-based anesthesia surgical settings. Cognitive aids have been shown to help improve performance in certain critical anesthesia events, such as Malignant Hyperthermia. Cognitive aids can also serve to coordinate care in a multidisciplinary team so that all providers are aware of the tasks that need to be accomplished, and roles and responsibilities can be clearly delineated and understood by all.
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