The safe use of drugs trolleys in care homes etc.
Drugs trolleys are a common and well used method of dispensing controlled drugs and medicines within the care home environment. It is of paramount importance that due consideration is given to the safe operation and use of these Drugs trolleys. The incorrect use and operation of a drugs trolley may result in damage to furniture or at worse case; in personal injury.
The Safe Use of Pharmacy Medicals MDS Drugs Trolleys
It is important that operators of drugs trolleys are made aware of their correct and safe use.
A drugs trolley is effectively a medicine or controlled drugs cabinet that moves so care must be taken at all times.
Check the drugs trolley over daily before using it on the drugs round. A quick visual check of the castors to ensure they are in good order will ensure the unit’s safe mobility and manoeuvrability. Check that the shelves are fitted correctly and ensure the rubber bumpers are in good order.
Safe loading of drugs and medicines in the drugs trolley.
There are many and varied sizes of drugs trolleys available. It is important to ensure the operator is made aware of their individual characteristics. For instance, a unit with a small footprint may be less stable than a drugs trolley with a larger footprint. More care may be needed manoeuvring smaller trolleys.
When loading the drugs and medicines in the drugs trolley ensure that the heaviest packets and bottles are placed on the lower shelves. This will lower the centre of gravity of the drugs trolley. It is important that the operator is made aware that if heavy items are placed on the higher shelves then the unit may become unstable especially when negotiating slopes or bumps. It may become an occurrence, due to operator error to overload the upper shelves.
Moving a drugs trolley safely
When moving a drugs trolley around the care home or medical premises the trolley should be pushed or pulled with both hands placed on the handles which are provided at each end of the unit. Ensure that the trolley doors are closed and locked with the keys removed to prevent damage. Be aware of any obstacles or changes of level in the floor which may cause an obstruction.
When dispensing drugs to a patient away from the drugs trolley ensure the doors are locked with the keys removed.
We hope this advice which is given in good faith is helpful. Should you wish to discuss any aspect of it we would welcome your comments or questions.