New Year, New Start – make sure your emergency equipment is all checked and in working order

It is important that all Health Care Professionals working in the primary care setting have immediate access to resuscitation equipment and emergency drugs.

Therefore, a system to check equipment should be in place to ensure that it is in good working order, and easily accessible. Ideally, the following list of equipment should be readily available and checked at least on a weekly basis:-

– Oxygen cylinder (check level daily to ensure it has not accidentally been left on and always check it after each use)
– Oxygen masks (non-rebreather, nebuliser, nasal cannula)-adult and paediatric (if relevant to workplace setting)
– Oxygen tubing
– Adult bag-valve mask and spare
– Paediatric bag-valve mask and spare (if relevant to workplace setting)
– Pocket mask
– Oropharyngeal airways (sizes 0,1,2,3,4)
– Nasopharyngeal airways (sizes 6,7,8)
– I-Gels (sizes 3,4,5) and paediatric (sizes 1.5,2, 2.5, if relevant to workplace setting)
– AED (Pack should contain adult and ideally paediatric pads and spares, tough cut scissors, razor, towel, spare battery). AED’s SHOULD BE CHECKED DAILY AND EVERYONE SHOULD FAMILIARISE THEMSELVES WITH IT’S OPERATION
– Emergency drugs kit with each drug compartment clearly labelled (drugs should be checked/documented every week to ensure they’re not past their expiry date and also when they’re getting close to their expiry date)
– Ideally a set of laminated algorithms/protocols should be attached to the emergency drugs kit, detailing indicated drugs and dosages for each medical emergency e.g. one for Anaphylaxis, one for Hypoglycaemia etc
– Needles and syringes (various sizes)
– Sharps boxes (ensure they’re not over-filled)
– Portable suction unit (battery or manual) with Yankauer and soft flexible catheters
– PPE (gloves, aprons, eye protection)
– Thermometer
– Blood Glucose testing kit

NB – All equipment that is in sealed packaging e.g. oxygen masks should be checked to ensure the packaging is in tact and equipment within it has not exceeded the expiry date.

Written By James Briggs, Thursday 3rd January 2018