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Stocking your Anaesthetic Trolleys: What you need to know

An Anaesthetic Trolley is an important piece of equipment in the Operating Theatre, providing anaesthetists with quick and easy access to the tools and consumables they need to administer anaesthesia safely and efficiently. Ensuring that the anaesthetic trolley is well-stocked with the right equipment is essential for the smooth operation of surgical procedures. In this article, we will discuss the key equipment and consumables that should be included in your anaesthetic trolley contents.

1: Airway Management Equipment:

  • Endotracheal tubes (various sizes)
  • Laryngoscope with spare blades
  • Stylets
  • Oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways
  • Bag-valve-mask (BVM) device

Airway management is a critical aspect of anaesthesia administration, and having a variety of tools for different patient scenarios is essential.

2: Drug Administration and Monitoring:

  • Syringes and needles for drug administration (stored above the worksurface in our Tilt Bins – see the range here tilt bin
  • Medication labels and drug charts (stored above the worksurface in our anaesthesia-label-dispenser/
  • Intravenous cannulas
  • IV fluids
  • Infusion pumps
  • Blood pressure cuff and stethoscope
  • Pulse oximeter

Accurate drug administration and continuous monitoring of vital signs are imperative during anaesthesia. The infusion pumps ensure precise control over the rate of drug delivery, while a pulse oximeter helps in monitoring oxygen saturation levels.

3: Emergency Medications and Equipment:

  • Adrenaline (epinephrine)
  • Atropine
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Emergency drugs chart
  • Defibrillator pads

Quick access to emergency medications and equipment is vital in case of unexpected complications. The drugs and defibrillator pads can be lifesaving during emergencies.

4: Intubation and Ventilation Equipment:

  • Endotracheal tube ties
  • Heat and moisture exchanger (HME) filters
  • Suction catheters and suction machine
  • End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) monitor

Ensuring proper intubation and ventilation is crucial for patient safety. ETCO2 monitoring provides real-time feedback on the patient’s ventilation status.

5: Sterile Supplies:

  • Sterile gloves
  • Sterile gowns
  • Sterile drapes
  • Sterile dressings

Maintaining a sterile environment is paramount during anaesthesia procedures to prevent infections and complications.

6: Documentation and Communication:

  • Anaesthesia record forms
  • Communication devices (e.g., mobile phones, radios)

Accurate documentation of the anaesthesia process and effective communication among the healthcare team are essential for patient safety.

7: Miscellaneous:

  • Headlamp or portable light source
  • Tourniquet
  • Extra batteries for electronic devices
  • Transparent adhesive dressings

These miscellaneous items can prove useful in various situations, enhancing the overall functionality of the anaesthetic trolley.

See our range of Anaesthetic Trolleys here.

View case study of our Anaesthetic Trolleys at Manchester University Hospitals here.