What does code pink mean in a hospital?

A Code Pink message announced over a hospital's public address system warns the staff of a possible infant abduction. When there is a Code Pink, all outer doors to the hospital are locked and all staff move to the hallways to make sure the stairwells and elevators are covered. When the child is found, an announcement will cancel the Code Pink, allowing people to return to their jobs.

In the past, 47 different codes were used for infant abduction in California alone. Because this can cause confusion, standardized codes were developed by the Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS) and strongly suggested by the American Hospital Association (AHA) for use at all hospitals in the United States.

Last month, a security system to protect newborns triggered a hospital-wide "Code Pink" alert at Garden Grove Medical Center in California, enabling staff to save a newborn from abduction. Grisel Ramirez, 48, was charged with kidnapping and five felony counts of first-degree burglary and she faces up to 19 years and eight months in state prison.

Updated on Thursday, September 06 2012 at 02:09AM EDT
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