Reflective accounts

Resuscitation equipment

A CPD article improved Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation equipment.

A CPD article improved Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation equipment


Picture: Alamy

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article detailed the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) equipment required in a standard resuscitation trolley, and outlined the optimal method for arranging this equipment to assist nurses in assessing and managing a patient’s airway, breathing and circulation.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article demonstrated that one of the most important aspects of CPR during a cardiac arrest is ensuring there is immediate access to resuscitation equipment. This requires nurses to be familiar with the contents of the resuscitation trolley.

I learned that nurses are responsible for the daily checking and restocking of the trolley, ensuring that any single-use sterile equipment remains intact and in date, emergency drugs have not expired and all of the equipment is functioning. It is also vital to check that no emergency equipment is missing.

A variety of equipment is required on a resuscitation trolley, ranging from airway management devices, such as nasopharyngeal airways and single-use bag-valve masks, to scissors and portable suction apparatus.

Several emergency drugs may also be required and nurses should be aware that there are two concentrations of adrenaline (epinephrine) found in a resuscitation trolley: one to treat anaphylaxis and the other to be used in CPR.

The article also detailed the use of pre-filled syringes, stored in resuscitation trolleys to facilitate the rapid administration of emergency drugs.

How did you change or improve your practice?

The information about the layout of the resuscitation trolley will be useful to my practice, in particular the location of the defibrillator, which is often placed on top of the trolley. I am aware that a defibrillator’s efficacy depends partly on the acuity of the clinical setting and the skills of the nurses available to perform defibrillation.

In my practice, I will ensure that accurate documentation of any cardiac arrest interventions is maintained, which may assist with audits and inform national guidelines.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

The article provided up-to-date information about the contents and layout of the resuscitation trolley, which is relevant to the theme of practising effectively.

The article was also relevant to the theme of preserving safety, by reminding nurses to work within the limits of their training, competence and skills when undertaking CPR.

Rose Gallacher is a staff nurse at Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley


This reflective account is based on NS879 Bowden T, Smith D (2017) An overview of adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation equipment. Nursing Standard. 31, 23, 54-62

Write your own reflective account

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