"Code blue" events and related resuscitation efforts involve multidisciplinary bedside teams that implement specialized interventions aimed at patient revival. Activities include performing effective chest compressions, assessing and restoring a perfusing cardiac rhythm, stabilizing the airway, and treating the underlying cause of the arrest. While the existing critical care literature has appropriately focused on the patient, there has been a dearth of information discussing the various stresses to the healthcare team. This review summarizes the available literature regarding occupational risks to medical emergency teams, characterizes these risks, offers preventive strategies to healthcare workers, and highlights further research needs.
We performed a literature search of PubMed for English articles of all types (randomized controlled trials, case-control and cohort studies, case reports and series, editorials and commentaries) through September 22, 2016, discussing potential occupational hazards during resuscitation scenarios. Of the 6266 articles reviewed, 73 relevant articles were included.
The literature search identified six potential occupational risk categories to members of the resuscitation team-infectious, electrical, musculoskeletal, chemical, irradiative, and psychological. Retrieved articles were reviewed in detail by the authors.
Overall, we found there is limited evidence detailing the risks to healthcare workers performing resuscitation. We identify these risks and offer potential solutions. There are clearly numerous opportunities for further study in this field.