Discussing Pediatric Medical Care

« Back to Home

Why You Should Lock Up Your Medical Equipment Drawers In The Emergency Room

Posted on

If you work steadily in the emergency room at your local hospital, each of your medical bays probably has several drawers for medical equipment and supplies. While this is advantageous for easy access in crisis situations, less critical patients also have access. You should consider placing locks on some of these cabinets and drawers for the following reasons.


Scalpels just laying in an unlocked drawer are a recipe for disaster. It could only take a few minutes before an ambulatory patient gains access, pulls a scalpel from the drawer, removes the sterile cardboard sheath, and begins slicing him/herself or using it as a weapon against staff. If there are other, less dangerous supplies in the same drawer, consider moving them so that you only have to lock up sharp instruments in a single drawer.

Vials of Medicine

Most hospitals lock these up in the nurse's station, but some still keep them in cabinets in medical bays. This is also a bad idea, because the vials usually contain epinephrine, adrenaline, pitocin, and other medications that cause the heart rate to jump or make bodily organs do things faster or function outside a normal level. If a patient steals these vials, are you ready to answer to the supply nurse or supply clerk that wants to know where these potentially dangerous vials of medicine have gone? Lock them up.

Tubing and Intubation Equipment

Limited packets of tubing and intubation equipment are located in each medical bay in an emergency room. These life-saving kits help people breathe and prevent lung collapses, assist with restoring breathing to those with crushed tracheas, and perform a host of other very important tasks. If a patient steals these, the next patient that needs them will lose precious seconds of life while you scramble to find a packet. Worse still, these packets are often stolen by drug addicts who will use them to deliver their drug of choice intravenously. They cannot be stolen if patients cannot get to them.


Likewise, needles are a popular item for patients to steal. They are small, easy to hide on their persons, and are used for any number of inappropriate uses. Needless to say, it's never a good idea to leave these or the medicine vials in open cabinets in the medical bays.

For more assistance with how to store or use medical equipment, be sure to visit a website such as http://www.medirents.net.