Healthcare carts are one of the wonders you will experience when you enter the hospital or any other large healthcare facility after a long time. When you are in charge of purchasing one or more of the healthcare carts, then you know that they are many, many different types of healthcare carts. We will present an overview of the healthcare carts selection here, and make it easy for you to understand why such diversity is necessary.
Why are there so many types of hospital carts (hospital trolleys)?
A hospital cart is a piece of hospital furniture, typically equipped with multiple drawers, with space for multiple attachments, and always on wheels or casters. Why are there so many different types? The reason is two fold. First, the medicine has made a huge progress over the past hundred years, especially when it comes to incorporating the achievements of science, and technology into devices that are designed to measure, and intervene in the processes happening inside the human body.
The huge progress made has resulted in a large number of devices that medical doctors of various specialties use on a daily basis, be it for surgeries, for drug administration, or even in life threatening situations such as inside emergency rooms, intensive care units, or inside recovery rooms.
Finally, to use the plethora of new devices effectively, ergonomic hospital carts must be designed to host such medical devices, their supplies, and any accessories. Furthermore, a hospital cart must make these devices, supplies and accessories ergonomic for the doctor to use, and often at a moment’s notice. Sometimes, in a life threatening emergency. Therefore, a specialized, ergonomic design of a hospital cart becomes of utmost importance for the success of the operation, or the procedure. Of course, often times, the patient’s comfort is important just as well.
Such diverse requirements for hospital carts require a large number of hospital cart types.
What are some of the hospital cart types
Here is a list of the hospital cart types that you will find in any larger hospital or medical center:
Emergency crash cart: These are used in emergency rooms, ICUs, for the purpose of resuscitation of a person, either from a cardiac arrest, from a suffocation, or drug overdose. They come in adult and pediatric varieties. They house an AED, automatic electronic defibrillator for heart arrest patients, instruments and tubes for restoration of breathing pathways, as well as a large number of life-saving drugs.
Anesthesia cart: Used by anesthesiologists during operations, the anesthesia carts host the supplies needed for gas machines, or anesthesia machines, which are usually located right next to the anesthesia cart. Likewise, an anesthesia cart will host multiple drugs and supplies to support the work of an anesthesiologist.
Medicine cart: These are specialized on hosting multiple prescription drugs for multiple patients. They have room for several “punch cards”, each of the punch cards containing specially prepared groups of medications for individual patients, for their use during the day. Medicine carts must promote good organization so the potent drugs are always administered on time.
Specialty treatment carts: Just as there are many surgical specialists, so there are many different specialty treatment carts. You will find in large hospitals, surgery carts, malignant hyperthermia carts, and many more.
Isolation carts: Especially in large hospitals, where there are multiple patients with a variety of conditions and diseases, it becomes important that the germs are not transported from one patient to another, making the situation worse for everyone. It was found that a major source of cross-contamination were medication carts transported from a hospital room to a hospital room. Therefore, isolation carts were invented. These are no different from medicine carts but are painted with anti-microbial paint to kill germs.
Mobile instrument carts and laboratory carts: These carts are used near lab benches to accommodate the needs of the laboratory staff. Be it for blood tests, MRI tests, ECG tests, ultrasound tests, or similar, instrument carts and laboratory carts have specific requirements depending on the laboratory they are in. For instance, in MRI labs, the carts that are allowed to be used there must have special material properties not to interfere (or be influenced by) strong magnetic fields inside a MRI lab, and neither to be influenced by or influence the radio waves that are produced in the MRI equipment.
Transport carts and transfer carts: Perhaps the most mundane of the healthcare carts, the transport carts, or transfer carts are nonetheless essential for the well being of the patient. Hospital linen carts are used for exchanging the bed linens, and rolling food carts are used to deliver meals directly to a hospital bed. Rolling laundry carts and rolling storage carts are used for delivery of personal items to the patient.