Background and Aim A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a high risk unit for a fire outbreak. To prepare employees for an evacuation they are trained. Here we describe the evacuation drills performed.
Methods Every year a minimum of four evacuation drills are performed at the NICU of the Erasmus MC- Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam. Our NICU consists of 3 separate units. Dolls are used as simulation patients. After each evacuation drill members of the workgroup and participants provide feedback on the effectiveness of the drill.
Results Since 2008 12 evacuation drills were held for a total of 68 caregivers, (3 to 9 per drill) and 4 workgroup members. The scenarios dealt with fire outbreak (n=9), flooding (n=2) and smoke (n=1). The number of dolls used during evacuation was 1 to 6. The median time to complete evacuation was 10 minutes (range 7 to 18 minutes). The outlier of 18 minutes related to a ‘patient’ whose caseload was high (see Figure). In 9 of the12 drills the alarm bell rang; in two cases nobody in the other units responded.
Conclusions The workgroup felt it necessary to improve the drills by using colored vests to single out participants in the drill, wearing goggles mimicking poor visibility, and a flowchart demonstrating stepwise evacuation. Participants felt it was useful to practice evacuations.