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Are you seeking to help clinicians deliver the best care during crises? Despite best intentions, well-trained clinicians often miss known key steps during crises. This FREE perioperative Emergency Manual contains 25 critical events as well as Crisis Resource Management key points.

An emergency manual is a resource that contains sets of cognitive aids or checklists relevant for a specific clinical context. The term ‘emergency manual’ is purposefully used as a clear reference to a familiar and accessible emergency resource at the point of care. This term is parallel to the emergency section of ‘Flight Manuals’ for pilots and aviation crews. Operating rooms and other acute care settings now have many ‘checklists,’ including the helpful and widespread WHO surgical safety checklist. The term ‘cognitive aid’ is the longstanding academic term encompassing all resources that help people to remember or apply relevant knowledge appropriately. However, this term is often not well understood by practicing clinicians. Naming this context-relevant book ‘emergency manual’ quickly developed broad cultural acceptance among interdisciplinary clinical team members.

Team members are using empowering questions, such as “Should I get you the Emergency Manual?” and leaders are assigning emergency manual ‘readers’ from the operating room team, to assist the direct providers, especially during complicated events such as Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA) cardiac arrest.”


  • This manual is an excellent addition to every anesthesia cart and OR nursing station. It is helpful pre-, during, and post-crises. A great deal of expert medical wisdom, academic research and practical, simulation-tested protocols are condensed into this compact, accessible manual.

    Bryan Bohman, MD
    Bryan Bohman, MD Chief Medical Officer for University Health Alliance, Stanford
  • Anesthesiologists have developed many tools to rescue patients from life-threatening situations, from the laryngoscope to the pulse oximeter to crisis management in the simulator. The latest of these is the Emergency Manual, a cognitive aid for any medical provider confronted with a crashing patient. This tool will save lives.

    Richard P. Dutton, MD, MBA
    Richard P. Dutton, MD, MBA Executive Director, Anesthesia Quality Institute, 2014
  • During a recent MH crisis, I assigned a ‘reader’ to read aloud from the accessible emergency manual. As event leader it was extremely helpful. The clear directions helped guide a calm, unified, team response. I knew that no evidence-based part of the treatment algorithm would be missed, giving our patient the best chance for full recovery.

    Anita Honkanen, MD, MS
    Anita Honkanen, MD, MS Chief, Pediatric Anesthesia Division, 2015
  • I noted climbing EtCO2, despite increased minute ventilation. Having used the emergency manual to review ‘what if’ cases, I thought to reach for it and found the correct page within seconds of considering the diagnosis of malignant hyperthermia. It helped our team to manage this unexpected event efficiently and accurately.

    Brice Gaudilliere, MD
    Brice Gaudilliere, MD Assistant Professor
  • Having the emergency manual as a staple resource in the OR and at home is extremely helpful… I look to the manual to guide me, either during an event or after one to make sure that I have covered everything.

    Lauren Friedman, MD
    Lauren Friedman, MD Physician, Kaiser Permanente
  • Our trauma patient had refractory hypotension before Stanford implemented emergency manuals in our ORs… There were plenty of people available, so someone could have taken the ‘reader’ role. Tunnel vision is a real issue under stress when caring for unstable patients or in code situations and emergency manuals can help.

    Alex Macario, MD
    Alex Macario, MD Anesthesia Residency Program Director

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