Having a tidy and organized medical crash cart could be the deciding factor in a life or death situation. Although the specific layout of a hospital’s emergency department crash cart may differ due to the availability of certain materials or location-specific techniques, the different objects listed below are generally considered staples.

medical crash cart

Dedicating specific drawers or surfaces for the storage of certain items allows hospital staff to memorize their location and reach for them inside the medical cart with drawers quickly in the time of an emergency.

General Checklist for medical crash carts

  • Defibrillators
  • Suction device and bag valve masks
  • Drugs like epinephrine, atropine, amiodarone, lidocaine, dopamine, and vasopressin
  • Drugs for peripheral and central venous access
  • Other first-line drugs like not limited to adenosine, dextrose diazepam or midazolam
  • At least one sedative as well as intubating equipment
  • Pediatric equipment (including drugs, tools, and other equipment)
  • Hospital-specific equipment

Arrangement of the top of the cart

  • Gloves
  • Monitor and all related equipment
  • Defibrillator with leads and pads
  • Sharps disposal container

Arrangement of the side of the cart

  • Oxygen tank
  • Rigid plastic backboard
  • Handheld suction mechanism

Arrangement of Drawer 1 – The Basics

  • ECG Gel
  • 5 Electrodes for both children and adults

Arrangement of Drawer 2 – Airway Management

  • Wooden tongue depressor
  • Battery
  • One ET stylet for both children and adults
  • Two ET tube in each size ranging from 2.5 to 9
  • Maglis forceps for both children and adults
  • Disposable airways: 00,0,1,2,3,4 – include one of each
  • 2 10 cc syringes
  • 10 small pieces of Dyna plaster
  • Two Laryngeal masks: No.3 and No.4

Arrangement Drawer 3 – Venipuncture tubes

  • 2 Disposable syringes in each of the following sizes: 1 mL, 2 mL, 5 mL, 10 mL, 20 mL, and 50 mL
  • One pressure monitoring line with a disk and one without
  • 5 Disposable needles with 18 gauze with and without filters
  • 5 Disposable needles with 23 gauze
  • Tourniquet
  • 5 IV dressing
  • 30 spirit swabs and 10 cotton swabs
  • Venflon 16G, 18G, 20G, 22G, 24G
  • 2 packets of sterile gauze
  • 2 IV sets with extensions
  • Disposable kidney tray
  • Multi-lumen catheter
  • 10 posiflush
  • Micropore plaster 1-inch
  • 2 3-way stopcocks
  • Burette set

Arrangement of Drawer 4 – Medication

In drawer 4, store all of the most common medications. Medications should range from simple pain and allergy relief to sedation.

Arrangement of Drawer 5 – IV Fluids

  • 1000 mL of D5W, RL, and NS
  • 500 mL of D5W and Ns
  • 100 mL of NS-2

Arrangement of Drawer 6 – Suction Catheter

In this drawer, you need to store two of each of the catheter sizes to ensure the right fit for your patient.

Arrangement of Drawer 7

  • Pediatric emergency tape  
  • Adult (15 gauze) and pediatric (18 gauze) versions of Intro-osseous needles (bone injection gun)
  • Medication additive labels

5 Helpful arrangement tips for medical crash carts

  1. When arranging medications in your medical cart, make sure all of the labels are clear and easy to locate.
  2. Clearly distinguish pediatric materials from adult materials.
  3. Designate one person to restock and manage the medical crash carts.
  4. Place the crash cart in an easy to access area. Do not move the cart from this position unless it is in use.
  5. Educate the appropriate hospital staff on how to use, restock, and locate crash carts in the case of an emergency.

Crash carts are vital in all emergency care situations that take place in hospitals. Medical carts not only store all of the necessary tools for immediate intervention but also all common medications that could come in handy during care.

Scott Clark Medical offers a wide variety of standard medical carts as well as emergency crash carts. Investing in a quality crash cart from Scott Clark Medical which provides more than enough space for all the necessary materials will improve the quality of care in hospitals and ensure emergency care teams can intervene quickly, resulting in a higher chance of survival.

Archie Harrington’s parents and siblings are all doctors, and even though he never pursued a medical degree himself, it has always held his interest. He uses his passion for writing to explore a myriad of medical topics, including dentistry, medical implements, and laws pertaining to the healthcare of today.
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