In emergency situations every second is crucial and could mean the difference between life or death. That’s why crash carts play such an important role when healthcare providers respond to resuscitation cases. Crash carts must be equipped with the right devices, supplies and medications to revive a patient. We have addressed the requirements for adult crash carts and provided checklists:
- The ACLS Crash Cart Requirements: What You Need to Know
- The Crash Cart Checklist: Is It Enough to Reduce Patient Risk?
- What's in a Crash Cart and How Is It Used?
This post will focus on pediatric crash carts and their contents.
Adult vs. Pediatric Crash Carts
Like adult crash carts, a pediatric crash cart is a medical equipment that is required to function properly in emergency situations. Unlike adult crash carts that are pre-positioned in most healthcare facilities, pediatric crash carts are often found in children’s hospitals or children’s units in general hospitals. The medications and supplies stored in both adult crash carts and pediatric crash carts are largely determined based on the facility’s preference and policies, although most facilities also follow general recommendations and guidelines prescribed by organizations like the American Heart Association. In contrast to adult crash carts, most facilities also consider the size of the patient when organizing pediatric crash carts.
Because size and weight can vary drastically among infants and children, it is vital that the right equipment size is used and that the right dose of medication is administered during a code. When time is of the essence and weight cannot be established accurately, the Broselow Tape (see below) is used to quickly estimate the child’s weight by measuring the length of their body.
Measurements on the Broselow Tape help estimate the child's weight and points to the corresponding color that indicates the dose and equipment that should be used for the child. Consequently, pediatric crash carts are color-coded to match the Broselow Tape - the matching pre-sized equipment and supplies are stored in the corresponding color-coded drawers of the cart. Notice the difference between an adult crash cart vs. pediatric crash cart:
Talon’s Pediatric Crash Carts offer 9 color-coded drawers: the first eight drawers are 3 inches tall; the last drawer is 6 inches tall.
While adherence to Broselow Tape and drawer configurations is only a guideline, most facilities have adopted organizing pediatric crash carts in this manner for the benefit of allowing healthcare providers to respond rapidly and accurately to a code. In fact, a 2005 study in PEDIATRICS Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published the following findings:
“…subjects located intubation equipment and nasogastric tubes significantly faster when using the Broselow [color-coded] cart, and correct equipment was provided significantly more often… data suggest that sites caring for pediatric patients should consider modeling their resuscitation carts after the Broselow [color-coded] cart to enhance provider confidence and patient safety.”
Pediatric Crash Cart Drawer Contents
(Click on Table to Expand)
The Broselow Tape can be purchased from multiple vendors along with a list of the recommended pre-sized equipment and supplies. Some vendors will update this list yearly, so make sure to check any updates before purchasing. Pediatric Crash Cart can be purchased from buytalon.com. We are able to not only customize the cart to fit your facility's workflow needs, but also customize the drawers with designs like the one below, while still retaining the recommended colors:
Contact us here for customization options.