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Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Splash and crash - definition

 srulikg - Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:26 pm

I need to find out the meaning of "Splash and crash".
It's being said in an emergency room with a delivery distress and the ER doc trying to deliver unsuccessfully says: to go find out if the surgeon is still around, splash and crash.
What does that mean? I searched everywhere and couldn't find the definition.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:31 am

User avatar Hi srulikg,
Thank you for a very interesting question.
In obstetric practice, frequently a very urgent Cesarian section is needed when there is very severe fetal distress.The jargon "Splash and crash" comes into the pictue here.
Let me try to explain...
Normally when any surgery is performed in the OR without any particular hurry(elective surgery or any not-so-urgent surgeries), the client's skin is prepped with an antiseptic solution which is painted onto the skin at leisure and allowed to remain on the patient's skin for about 3 minutes or so. Then the skin incision is made.This, for the sake of discussion, let us call as "prep and cut".

When the situation is very urgent (a dire emergency), ie; if the "Decision-to-Incision" time is very short, then the surgery may have to be performed in a rather unconventional fashion -ie:the "splash-and-cut" or 'splash and crash" prep.

In this situation one may not paint the antiseptic slowly, but rather pour it onto the skin( in the real situation,the painting is done in haste,but not really 'poured' or 'splashed' as implied!) and then incise the skin.
This situation is in no way unique to cesarian sections but to other emergencies as well.
The deciding factor is the "direness" of the emergency!!

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