Medical Crash Cart Preparedness: All You Need to Know

Everhutch 29 Oct 2022

Few situations in healthcare settings can be more stressful than when a patient stops breathing, or when their heart stops, and you know they could be moments away from death. That is why emergency crash carts are so important, and you need to ensure they are properly prepared and equipped so they are ready to deal with a life-threatening incident.

What is an emergency crash cart?

A medical crash cart, also known as a code cart, is a piece of storage equipment that can hold all of the necessary implements for dealing with a medical emergency. Some of the equipment on board is similar to that found in more general use procedure carts, but other pieces are specifically designed for dealing with incidents when a patient needs to be resuscitated.

How should emergency crash carts be designed and prepared

There are two important aspects to ensuring emergency crash carts can be used effectively. One is the design of the cart itself and the other is how it is stocked. Both of these aspects need to be right if the crash cart is to serve its vital, lifesaving purpose.

Design of emergency crash carts

Medical crash carts are instantly recognizable thanks to their red shade, universally recognized as the color of emergencies. This means they are easily identified in urgent situations. Like other forms of medical cart, they may have various combinations of drawers, shelves, rails and other storage space to hold all necessary equipment. Smooth surfaces, a welded steel body and a powder coating can help with cleanliness and infection control.

Welded steel construction is also strong and resilient, able to stand up to hectic, grueling healthcare settings where delicate Materials and mechanically fastened are easily broken. Wheels should be locking castors so the cart can be quickly and easily maneuvered in an emergency, but will hold steadily in place during a crisis. Security of its contents is important, measures such as a keypad lock are vital to protect potentially dangerous items such as drugs and sharps.

Preparing emergency crash carts

Once you have your emergency crash cart, you need to equip it with all necessary medical supplies to resuscitate critical patients. Some of these pieces of equipment are common even in non-emergency situations, such as a sharps box for syringes, scalpels and similar. Dividers and inserts for trays and drawers are found in most carts, where they can be configured for specific situations. All drawers should be clearly labeled with their contents.

Of the distinct items of equipment on a medical crash cart, one of the most important and recognizable is the defibrillator. Then there is the IV pole, intubation kit, oxygen holder and suction cup mount kit. Many procedure carts can hold medication, but a crash cart needs the specific drugs used in resuscitation situations.

When a patient crashes, it is vital that medical staff can immediately access the equipment they need to resuscitate them and potentially save their life. An emergency crash cart helps enable that by collecting all the necessary supplies in a convenient and practical storage device. That’s why a cart is a vital piece of equipment that cannot fail and is easy to clean.