Crash Cart

A Crash Cart (crash trolley) or code trolley (crash trolley in UK medical jargon) or “MAX trolley” is a series of trays/drawers/shelves on wheels used for on-site use of emergency medicine/equipment life support protocols (ACLS/ALS) for the transport and distribution of emergency medicines/equipment in hospitals.

Crash Cart

A Crash Cart (crash trolley) or code trolley (crash trolley in UK medical jargon) or “MAX trolley” is a series of trays/drawers/shelves on wheels used for on-site use of emergency medicine/equipment life support protocols (ACLS/ALS) for the transport and distribution of emergency medicines/equipment in hospitals. The car carries tools for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other medical supplies; while at the same time act as a support litter for the patient.

 

The crash car was first designed and patented by ECRI Institute founder Joel J. Nobel; M.D.; in 1965 as a surgical assistant at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. MAX helped improve the hospital’s emergency efficiency by allowing doctors and nurses to save time; thereby increasing the chances of saving a life. The content and organization of an accident car vary from hospital to hospital; country to country; and expertise; but typically includes the tools and medications needed to treat a person in cardiac arrest or another life-threatening condition or near it. These include; but are not limited to:

  • Monitor/defibrillators of different sizes; suction devices; and bag valve masks.
  • Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) drugs such as epinephrine; atropine; amiodarone; lidocaine; sodium bicarbonate; dopamine; and vasopressin are stored in the drawers of the cabinet.
  • There are also primary medications for the treatment of common problems such as adenosine; dextrose; epinephrine for IM use; naloxone; nitroglycerin; and others.

Crash Cart Use Cases

Hospitals often have internal intercom codes used for situations where someone outside the emergency department or intensive care unit suffers cardiac arrest or a similar potentially fatal condition (such situations already occur frequently and do not require special announcements). Given such codes; hospital staff and volunteers can clean the corridors and direct visitors to step aside as crash cars; and a team of doctors; pharmacists; and nurses can arrive at any time.

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