What Are Some Emergency Medical Codes?


Quick Answer

Some examples of emergency medical codes are code blue, code black and code red, states MedicineNet. Emergency medical codes are a system of color-coded warnings that hospital personnel can flash on a display, send over a paging system or call over a public address system.

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Full Answer

Different hospitals have their own often unrelated sets of code designations. The Hospital Association of Southern California offers standard emergency codes for health care providers based in California, notes the association's website. Code red indicates a fire in the medical center, code white means there is a pediatric medical emergency, code pink alerts staff to an infant abduction, code purple advises the abduction of an older child and code gray indicates a combative individual in the medical center. At Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital, a code gray is a security emergency, notes the hospital. This underscores the nonstandardized nature of emergency medical codes.

Emergency medical codes allow medical personnel to prepare for incoming emergency situations, be aware of external situations that may affect the medical campus and stay protected and safe, according to the Hospital Association of Southern California. California emergency medical codes related to potential disasters include triage external, denoting an external disaster, and its counterpart for an internal disaster, triage internal. Code orange designates a release or spill of hazardous materials. Code yellow indicates a bomb threat. A hostage situation or active shooter warrants a code silver.

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