In simple words, a medical crash cart is a portable collection of some of the most basic equipment and supplies that are needed to tackle a medical emergency. This cart carries devices or supplies such as surgical needles, suction devices, IV supplies, airways, cardiac monitors and defibrillator as well as emergency medication.
Although the basic contents of a crash cart are the same in all medical facilities and departments, there might be some addition or diminution of equipment according to the specialization of the medical facility. The competence of the emergency of any medical facility depends on their maintenance of crash cart equipment. Given below are some important things that all medical personnel must know about crash carts.
Things You Must Always Keep at Hand
Some contents of the crash cart are required to be grabbed as quickly as possible on the event of an emergency. Therefore, it must be ensured that they are always within reach when kept in the cart. Here is some important equipment that must not be stowed away in the drawers but always kept in plain sight:
- The importance of the oxygen tank hardly needs to be explained to anyone associated with the medical world. You will need to crank open the tank and deliver the oxygen appropriately as soon as the airway is patent. Hence, this must be at hand at all times.
- However, is in charge will be required to make quick decisions about how to proceed and if to follow code if the cardiac and respiratory rhythm of the patient can be easily assessed. For example, if the patient is found to be in lethal cardiac rhythm. It helps to keep paediatric pads at hand as well.
- Another equipment that must be included in the list is a portable suction machine. This will allow the person in charge to clear the patient’s airways extremely fast and prepare for intubation or any other type of advanced and better airway placement.
- Some other simple things such as gloves, paediatric and adult sized bag valve masks, and extra electrode must be placed outside of the crash cart so that they are easy to find when required in an emergency.
Why Keep All Supplies Inventoried?
There are many reasons why the supplies on the medical crash cart have to be inspected and inventoried promptly. No one wants to be facing a medical emergency and find that the cart is missing some crucial item such as the epinephrine or the endotracheal tube. To prevent something like this from happening, it is recommended that an inventory should be created.
Regular inspections must be done to make sure that the necessary equipment is available and every medication is well within its usable period. The inventory must have the names and expiry date of all the equipments. This will make it much easier to replace items when required and make sure that a medical emergency is handled smoothly without any problems. Additionally, it must be ensured that all the other equipment is in perfect working order.
Some Common Queries Related to Crash Cart Contents
There are some common queries depending about the use and contents of medical crash cart such as the basic contents, the special content, how often should the contents be changed etc. While most of the medication and equipment are the same, there are some additions depending on the specialization of the facility where the cart is used. Usually, the medication is removed 90 days before their expiration and they are placed in carts that are more likely to use them before their expiry.