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Some Secret Codes

All right, starting out with plagiarised material isn’t the best of ideas. But I found some articles which I found really interesting . Codes are the ultimate alternative reality. They need not be the cryptographic military types. Simple names, gestures and signals go a long way to deliver an urgent message. All malls, hospitals around us use them anyway. Hmm…I wonder how many of these codes mentioned below I have seen/noticed in my daily life.

The use of codes is intended to convey essential information quickly and with a minimum of misunderstanding to staff. Some places use secret codes to pass information between store employees. These are meant to be a secret as they don’t want to alarm the non-staff members or alert someone like a thief to the fact that they have been noticed.

Name Codes

Code Oscar: On a ship, a code oscar means someone has gone overboard. If the ship has to maneuver erratically to handle the situation, it must also send out blasts on the signal so that other ships nearby are aware of the fact that it is about to change its course. It should be noted that ships don’t have an internationally standardized set of PA signals and they can differ from place to place, but this is a fairly commonly used one.

Code delta: can mean that there is a biological hazard – though who knows what that might be on a passenger ship.

Code Alpha: often means “medical emergency”.

Code Adam: was invented by Walmart but it is now an internationally recognized alert. It means “missing child”. The code was first coined in 1994 in memory of Adam Walsh, a six-year old, who went missing in a Sears department store in Florida in 1981. Adam was later found murdered. The person making the announcement will state “we have a code Adam,” followed by a description of the missing child. As soon as the alert is heard, security staff will begin to monitor the doors and other exits. If the child is not found within 10 minutes, the police are alerted and a store search begins. Also, if the child is found in the first 10 minutes in the company of an unknown adult, the police must be called and the person detained if it is safe to do so.

Computer Support Codes

In computer support, a variety of codes can be used when referring to a customer

PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

PICNIC: Problem in chair – not in computer

ID 10 T Error: ID 10 T is, of course, IDIOT

“Doctor” Codes

“Doctor” codes are often used in hospital settings for announcements over a general loudspeaker or paging system that might cause panic or endanger a patient’s privacy. Most often, “Doctor” codes take the form of “Paging Dr. _____”, where the doctor’s “name” is a codeword for a dangerous situation or a patient in crisis.

Doctor Brown: is a code word often used in hospitals to alert security staff to a threat to personnel. If a nurse or doctor is in danger from a violent patient or non-staff member, they can page Doctor Brown to their location and the security staff will rush to their aid.

Dr. Allcome: Serious emergency. “Doctor Allcome to Ward 5.” would indicate that all medical staff not presently occupied are needed. (The Med, Memphis Tennessee)

Dr. Firestone: Fire in the hospital. If a fire’s location can be isolated, the location of the fire is included in the page, e.g. “Paging Dr. Firestone to 3 West” indicates “Fire in or near west stairwell/wing on third floor” (William Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak and Troy, MI).

Dr. Pyro: Fire in the hospital/healthcare facility. “Paging Dr. Pyro on ____” indicates a fire and its origin or current location, e.g. “Paging Dr. Pyro on 3″ means “Fire on third floor” (Kaiser Permanente, system-wide).

Dr. Strong: Patient needing either physical assistance or physical restraint. “Paging Dr. Strong …” indicates that any physically capable personnel (orderlies, police orsecurity officers, EMTs or firemen, etc.) in the proximity should report and be prepared either to move a patient who “fell down” and cannot get back up or to “capture and restrain” an uncooperative patient.

“Colour” Codes

Code Black:

– In Australia code black is a personal threat. This incorporates a diverse range of situations including assaults, confrontations, hostage situations and threats of personal injury or attack

– Bomb Threat (Ontario, Manitoba)

– In the military code black is bomb threat or discovery of suspicious package.

Code Gray/Grey

– A combative person with no weapon under HASC suggestions.

– Severe Weather (Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX)

Code Green

-A combative person using physical force, especially weapons. (some American hospitals)

-Used to indicate an evacuation situation, and can refer to the evacuation of a ward/floor/wing or the entire hospital (Code Green – Stat) depending on the call (Ontario Hospital Emergency Codes, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

Code Pink

– Biohazardous contamination of a patient or staff. (Heartland Regional Medical Center)

– Patient is under influence of illegal substances (UK First Aid organisations)

Code Purple

– Australian Standard for Bomb or Substance alert

– Hostage situation or patient abduction (Ontario Hospital Association)

– Emergency department can no longer accept patients; divert incoming cases to other hospitals if at all possible (Canada, also Wellstar Health Group)

Code Silver

– Combative person with a Lethal Weapon (HASC recommendations).

– Violent Situation – Lockdown (Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX)

Code Yellow

– Missing patient (Ontario Hospital Emergency Codes).

Code Orange

– Used in Ontario hospitals to indicate an external disaster with mass casualties. Lockdown or controlled facility access is often used as part of the response. Volunteers, Families and Students were denied access during SARS Outbreak of 2003.

Code Brown

– Missing Adult (University of Toledo Medical Center) (University of Cincinnati Medical Center)

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