Learning how to prepare emergency crash carts is crucial to providing patients with the highest level of care. A crash cart is a mobile unit with nearly all the materials required to perform a code. While crash cart configurations vary, most are at waist or chest level with multiple drawers. Discover how to get crash carts ready to provide exactly what patients need.
One of the most significant ways to waste time is by looking for emergency crash carts when patients arrive. All the carts should be well-organized and located conveniently to provide immediate treatment. Additionally, tracking should be done using paperwork and technology to ensure care is accessible if a system goes down.
The first set of drawers often contains various medications that are routinely administered. Examples include alcohol swabs, sterile water, sodium chloride, and other essentials. Verify that all medications are fully stocked to avoid searching for necessities during a crisis.
Intubation and Intravenous Lines
The next sets of drawers may contain tongue depressors, endotracheal tubes and intubation equipment. Below those drawers are the intravenous lines required to start an IV, including the IV start kit, disinfectants, catheter tips, and tubing. Make sure all sizes are included in the drawer to accommodate any patient.
The bottom drawer on crash carts usually contains prepackaged kits for urgent procedures. These kits may include suction suppliers, ECG electrodes, sutures, and sterile gloves. Once again, make sure all sizes are available to provide prompt treatment in emergency situations.
Protect Patient Safety
Errors can lead to significant consequences for patients in emergencies. Staff members should know how to properly stock and maintain emergency crash carts. Typical issues may include a lack of essential medications or expired medicines, drained batteries, and empty oxygen tanks. A poorly stocked cart compromises patients’ care and treatment.
Training staff members about emergency crash cart maintenance helps ensure everything runs smoothly during a crisis. The staff might be unfamiliar with how to stock the crash cart and prepare it for use. Providing guidelines to everyone makes it easier to keep up with cart supplies.
Locating Crash Carts
Another common problem is finding the right crash cart to care for patients. Create a plan to keep staff focused on verifying that the proper crash carts are located in the treatment areas. For example, the wrong cart on the floor could mean rushing to another location to get necessities. Every minute matters in an emergency, and crash carts should contain everything required to help save lives.
Often, medical facilities have several checkpoints to ensure crash carts are correctly stocked and situated. Also, many places use paperwork as well as technology for cart maintenance. Therefore, if a system goes down or is temporarily inaccessible, the staff instantly has access to the paperwork for the carts. As a result, emergency care and treatment continue without interruption to offer the best care to patients.
Proper organization is crucial to providing the highest medical treatment to patients, especially in emergencies. For example, maintaining functional emergency crash carts keeps facilities moving forward during a crisis rather than struggling to find essentials. Take time to inventory the crash carts regularly to ensure they are updated and include everything the staff needs to take care of patients.