Anesthesia carts come in all shapes and sizes and various security requirements. Waterloo offers a wide variety of locking options — From a simple key lock to a WiFi capable proximity card reader, we can provide the right level of security for your operating rooms. Organization and work surface are also important features on an anesthesia cart and we offer both!
Anesthesia carts are essential equipment for operating rooms within a hospital. Anesthesia carts store critical supplies and equipment required for patient procedures and surgeries. There will typically be at least one anesthesia cart per operating room suite in a hospital, so a facility with 10 OR suites would have a minimum of 10 anesthesia carts and possibly up to 20 depending on their caseload and exchange system.
Anesthesia carts are designed to organize and keep supplies within arm’s reach of the anesthesiologist when a patient procedure or surgery is underway. Because anesthesiologists need to use a fair amount of equipment and medications during a procedure, they tend to accessorize their carts more than other types of procedure carts.
Anesthesia Cart Contents
Anesthesia carts are typically pre-stocked by anesthesia techs to the Anesthesiologist’s specifications. Carts are loaded out based on the needs of each individual patient procedure, but there are general contents that remain fairly consistent across a fleet of anesthesia carts.
Tilt bins are a common accessory on anesthesia carts. They mount to a trellis rail along the backside of the cart, which can hold up to three full tilt bin arrays, and sometimes even more if they hang additional bins on the back of the trellis. Tilt bins are perfect for storing syringes of various sizes, tape, and other small supplies that need to be quickly identified and accessed during a procedure.
Tape dispensers are common anesthesia cart accessories. They mount to a trellis rail or can be mounted directly to the cart top and secured using the included suction cup feet. Tape dispensers hold a variety of different tapes used to mark and label medications. These tapes are used by the anesthesiologist to clearly mark medications in an effort to reduce and eliminate misidentification errors during a procedure. Having access to them on the cart top facilitates their use.
Anesthesia Cart Set-up: Designing Your Workstation
The cart's top drawer is most often the medication and drug storage drawer. This cart drawer contains many medications such as Atropine, Lidocaine, Succinylcholine, Epinephrine, and Ephedrine. It also stores schedule II narcotics such as Fentanyl, Propofol, and others. These drugs are considered controlled substances and need to be secured in a manner that insures they will not be tampered with or abused before, during, or after a procedure.
As a result, Waterloo Healthcare anesthesia carts can be outfitted with dual credential controlled substance drawers that will restrict cart access to only those with authorization to handle these high level drugs. Our electronic “controlled substance” locks can be purchased with proximity badge readers that will work with most hospital employee security badges. One wave of a properly programmed employee badge across the proximity reader will unlock all drawers EXCEPT the controlled substance (medication) drawer. To gain access to this cart drawer an anesthesiologist would need to enter a second numeric code on the electronic keypad to open the “controlled substance” drawer. This dual credential locking system helps minimize pilferage and abuse of the high level narcotics stored in the drug drawer.
The second cart drawer is often times stocked with medical intubation supplies such as endotracheal tubes of various sizes, stylets, laryngoscope blades and handles, Nasopharyngeal Airways, tongue depressors, and more. These medical supplies are used to establish an airway prior to procedure.
The third cart drawer frequently houses other oxygen delivery and airway supplies. These include items such as nasal cannula, oxygen masks, Guedel Airways, Yankauer Suction Tubing, etc., which are used in tandem with items in the cart's second drawer to establish and maintain a proper airway during procedure.
The fourth drawer of the cart can serve as storage for IV supplies. Contents might include, alcohol prep pads, adhesive tape, IV catheters, Luer Lock Syringes, and tourniquets.
The fifth cart drawer can be used for additional IV supplies and tubing sets.
The cart's sixth drawer can be stocked with miscellaneous medical supplies such as bag valve masks and resuscitators, gloves, blood pressure cuffs, etc…
What Makes Waterloo Anesthesia Carts Unique
Because anesthesia carts store a lot of supplies and medical equipment, they oftentimes need to be very tall in order to accommodate the number of drawers needed to store supplies. This can come at the cost of effective cart top work height. A solution that Waterloo has developed for this issue is to make our wide anesthesia cart six inches wider than our standard width cart. This means you have the same amount storage for medications and supplies as with our standard width cart, but the overall cart height will be lower and better optimized for use as a cart top workstation.
Waterloo healthcare offers a wide variety of cart sizes, drawer, cabinet and storage configurations, lock options, and anesthesia accessories that ensure we have a solution for every anesthesia cart need! We also offer a series of medication carts and workstations, should those better suit your needs.