An anesthesia cart is a type of medication cart specifically intended for anesthesiologists. It allows medical staff to safely store and transport medical supplies and other equipment to and from patient and operating rooms. Rather than being fixed in place or tethered to a power outlet, a mobile cart carries its own power supply, allowing the independent use of a computer workstation and other technology.
Medical carts should be built to last, which often means construction using stainless steel or aluminum alloys. Aluminum is frequently used due to its low density — aluminum parts are lightweight. However, aluminum alloys are also weaker than steel alloys.
A well-designed cart should incorporate stainless-steel alloys for stress-bearing components or assemblies. For other parts, aluminum or plastic can suffice.
Easy to Clean
In a medical setting, sanitation is critical, and the design of a mobile cart can either help or hinder your efforts to maintain hygiene standards. If the cart’s surfaces are difficult to reach with cleaning supplies, it can pose a health hazard to your fellow staff members and patients. The manufacturer should choose plastics and other materials that will not experience damage from cleaning products or steam.
If you use your cart to store and transport medical supplies, including analgesic drugs and other controlled substances, it’s important to consider security. This isn’t only to prevent theft or unauthorized access, although that is a necessity if you use the cart to store drugs with a high potential for abuse.
You can also configure individually lockable drawers according to a patient’s ID, so you’ll always know which medication is designated for a specific patient. This reduces the likelihood of medical errors.
Some options use non-electronic manual locking systems, but these are not as secure. If you’re using your cart to transport anesthetics, choose the most secure option available.
You should also exercise sound judgment when determining whether to secure medications in your anesthesia cart and what policies to establish.
An onboard battery system lets you keep your cart’s computer running, regardless of whether you’re near an external power source. However, not all battery systems are created equal. Outdated systems can’t keep your computer running for long, and in the fast-paced and stressful environment of a modern hospital, stopping to recharge your battery every few hours is not viable.
The solution is a battery system that holds a longer charge. Lead-acid batteries, which used to be dominant, have given way to more advanced lithium-ion batteries. When combined with hot-swap functionality, you’re able to keep your cart and workstation running without interruption. This can take the form of exchangeable battery packs, so you’re able to remove and replace it while the other is charging.
Many hospitals and medical facilities have limited space available, necessitating that you and your fellow staff use the available space as efficiently as possible. As a result, the carts you use should have as small a footprint as possible.
Mobility is an essential component of any medication cart or mobile workstation, but the casters it uses make a difference. Smooth-ride casters, at least two of which you can lock, should provide a combination of flexibility and stability when you need it most.
It’s also critical that the casters support the cart’s weight evenly. This can also prevent medicines and other tools from shaking or becoming loose. The cart should also have oversized and easy-to-grip handles.
Anesthesia carts can be heavy, especially when storing copious amounts of equipment, onboard power systems, and other technology. To avoid injury to your medical staff, the cart should afford a certain amount of adjustability. This means that the frame should be height-adjustable, whether manually or motorized, so that your staff can access medications and other supplies conveniently.
It also enables your staff to work for extended periods on computer-related tasks without sacrificing comfort.
Because many hospitals combine medication carts with mobile computer workstations so medical staff can instantly update patient information, the cart should accommodate a computer system. This includes mounting points for monitors, keyboard or laptop trays, and desktop surfaces. Ideally, the cart will have mouse trays and other fixtures to equally accommodate both right- and left-handed personnel.
The challenges and stressful nature of modern medical facilities increasingly call for custom solutions. If standard, off-the-shelf equipment isn’t satisfactory, you need to find a firm that can accommodate your unique circumstances. Whether that means you need a different configuration regarding storage or a computer display, increased weight, or the power supply, you should be able to work with the manufacturer to find an appropriate product.
At Scott-Clark Medical, we manufacture various well-engineered storage, organization, and transport equipment to suit today’s hard-working medical personnel’s varied and continually evolving needs. If you need a custom solution, call us at (512) 756-7300 — we can help you maximize safety and efficiency for your staff and patients.