Introduction Evacuation is an uncommon and hard to practice event in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Insecurity of untrained personnel can lead to disastrous incidents. To improve training and to recognize problems, a large multidisciplinary evacuation training was organized.
Methods The evacuation procedure was filmed by a professional film crew and edited into a 10-minute instructional movie. The film was shown to the full nursing staff. With lessons learned from this evacuation the current evacuation protocol was evaluated and several inconsistencies were identified.
Results During the training the current evacuation area proved unsuitable because of absence of the appropriate connections. Furthermore the staff trained was uncertain of their tasks during the training. Lastly essential equipment was hard to find. To increase awareness and regulate the procedure a checklist was developed. The coordinating nurse was made responsible for a weekly run through of the checklist. The instructional video will be shown to all new colleagues. Currently, a simulation computer program is being developed to routinely practice an evacuation in a safe environment.
Conclusion The local evacuation procedure should be well known among NICU staff. Multidisciplinary training is an important tool to identify the positive and negative aspects of the current procedure. A checklist can help to increase awareness and to the early identification of possible problems.
Acknowledgements Multidisciplinary working group evacuation, the fire department UMC Utrecht and fire department Utrecht.