Medical workstations on wheels are only some of the many kinds of medical carts that can improve and streamline veterinary operations. Crash carts are among the most common type of medical cart used in veterinary settings.

For emergency veterinary facilities, having a crash cart with the appropriate supplies and medical equipment provides you with the tools you need to ensure your patient receives proper treatment.

What Is a Crash Cart?

A crash cart is a medical cart equipped with appropriate medical supplies and equipment to respond to an emergency. The exact nature of the supplies depends on the type of veterinary clinic.

For most veterinary practices, the same equipment can be used for responding to canine and feline emergencies. Lidocaine is the only emergency drug with different doses for each species.

Carts should be fully stocked at all times, and each drawer should be labeled. All members of staff should know what is in the cart and where to locate each item in order to improve the success rate of CPR or other emergencies.

Types of Crash Carts

Crash carts come in different sizes and configurations. The size of the cart depends on the number and types of emergencies the clinic manages. Multiple-doctor and high-volume clinics have several larger, more complete crash carts than smaller, low-volume clinics.

Some larger veterinary practices may find that the emergency room would benefit from two or three carts: one for immediate care, another equipped with various medicines, and a third with any specialty equipment the practice may use.

Other carts to consider are mobile medical carts with computers. This allows instant access to charts, medical files, or additional information the veterinary staff might need when treating animals. You can enter information on patient status and treatment.

You also may want carts with integrated batteries. Battery carts allow you to have instant power for any powered medical devices and equipment.

Customized, New, and Used

You can also order customized carts that are unique to your specific environment and needs. Many manufacturers will refurbish your existing carts to meet your needs and can do so at your facility. Scott-Clark Medical ensures all used carts meet rigid quality control standards, so the carts function as if they are new.

Where Should You Station the Crash Cart?

Locate your cart in the central treatment area so you can wheel it to whichever section of the clinic that you are treating the animal.

Organize the cart station wherever you locate the CPR and oxygen as that is the most likely place you will need the cart’s equipment, medicines, and other items.

Configuring the Cart

However, you configure your carts; you should do so uniformly so that in emergencies, the staff will immediately know where items are located.

Precisely what equipment and medicines to stock on the cart depend on the layout of the clinic and the number of treatment rooms.

Top Shelf or Workspace

Most veterinary centers use the top of the cart for defibrillators, blood pressure units, and electrocardiographs.

Multi-Drawer Configurations

Most carts have multiple drawers. A suggested configuration for a multi-drawer cart is:

First Drawer

This drawer usually houses the intubation supplies, tap, and various blades.

Second Drawer

Use the second drawer for emergency medications. Include pre-assembled needles and pre-set dosages for emergencies.

Third Drawer

Include your intravenous supplies in this drawer, such as different size catheters and supporting items.

Additional Drawers

Your additional emergency cart drawers should contain things like fluids, defibrillator paddles, needles, syringes, and any miscellaneous items that the staff determines as useful in animal emergencies treated at the veterinary hospital.

Emma Reed has a background in Psychology (B.A.) and Medical Anthropology (M.S.) and writes for a variety of medical publications. Her passion is making cutting-edge medical information accessible to a wider audience, and her work often examines the intersections of sociology, anthropology, and medicine.
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