NEW JERSEY – 27-year-old hospital operator, Jeremy Dickerson, was fired last week after accidentally relaying an incorrect message over the hospital PA system. Dickerson, instead of announcing “Code Blue!” made a near fatal mistake and announced “Code Brown!”
“We were laughing hysterically,” said Dr. Tiffany Urbano. “We really thought that was just a joke for a messy bathroom or soiled bed. To hear it announced overhead was great!” Numerous bathroom jokes were made as Dr. Urbano and her team continued to eat breakfast at the hospital cafeteria, unaware that a patient was really coding on the 5th floor.
Several minutes elapsed before Dickerson again made an announcement for “Code Brown” again. Dr. Urbano knew something was not right and headed up to the 5th floor to investigate. “I was hoping to see a backed up toilet or lots of dirty rags when I got up there, but I didn’t.” Sure enough, a patient had arrested and thankfully was successfully resuscitated despite a delay in personnel responding.
Dickerson reported hearing “Brown” instead of “Blue.” “Boy, I learned my lesson not to mix up those two colors again.” Joint Commission will be adding the colors to the commonly mixed up list and will be publishing a patient safety advisory, teaching all hospital operators that “Code Brown” is a big inside joke.