Disaster Preparedness: Power Failure during Surgery

If a power failure should occur during surgery/procedure, the 
following protocol will be followed:
The office manager or designee will contact the local power 
company to determine cause and probable duration of power 
outage.  The office manager will keep the procedure/operating 
room staff informed through communication with the clinical 
staff.  The office manager or designee will also have the 
responsibility of the front office, specifically reassuring 
waiting family members, and other patients that are in the 
The procedure/operating room will continue to function as 
Procedure will not continue
It is noted that the critical equipment, i.e. monitoring 
equipment, has integrated back up capability of varying 
The surgeon and anesthesiologist  will make a decision to 
continue surgery based on expected length of power outage, 
expected duration of surgical procedure, and the safety of 
the patient.  The decision may be made to:
Continue the case using alternate power backup source(s) 
until power is restored. But not to proceed with any other 
cases until the power is restored.
End surgery at this point and complete at a later 
Transport patient by dialing 911 to Nearest Hospital
If the decision is made to transport the patient, see the 
Transfer Policies in Volume 3, for instructions.
Patients in the recovery area will be reassured and any 
monitoring used in the recovery area contains its own battery 
back up.
In the case of battery back up units, the unit will be 
monitored after the power is restored to insure a full 
Appropriate personnel will be made aware of the location, 
actions required on the employee's part and maintenance 
requirements of the alternate power source.   New personnel 
will be oriented regarding testing and operation of this 
equipment during the standard orientation process, when 
applicable. All competencies will be documented. 
An up-to-date alternate power source log will be maintained 
by assigned personnel.
Additionally the organization assures that there are 
functioning flashlights, a telephone that plugs directly into 
the wall, a battery operated radio and a cellular phone on 
site during hours of operation.

Approved By Governing Board    
Control #274.6