When I was in medical school doing my critical care elective in EM, I remember seeing the interns preparing tubes and IVs before their shifts started. Since then it was instilled in me that coming early to the shift was essential to make sure that at least your resuscitation room was adequately set up for any major emergency coming through. With the help of a few friends, I made up a list of the equipment that should be present and working appropriately in your resuscitation room. 

Not only should you have to have the appropriate equipment, but you should also make sure they are working appropriately. You may be surprised at what is missing or non-functional. The most important part of our job is to be prepared: 

“Hope for the best, anticipate the worst.”

I tried looking for a proper definition and a list out there in the “interweb” that I could modify, but didn’t find one. I would recommend you get to know all of your nurses by name (especially the charge nurses) and have a good working relationship with them. It is essential, they are an integral part of the team.

1. Oxygen

  • There should be two outlets: make sure there are two and they work appropriately with appropriate tubing. Have the bag valve mask ready 

2. Pulse ox detector

3. The CO2 detector should be ready and functional (contributed by @AndyNeill)

4. Suction with canister, yankauers, and tubing 

5. Intubation kit and airway cart: lots of stuff in this cart

  • Endotracheal tube introducer (Bougie)
  • Working laryngoscope (make sure light bulb is working, straight and curve blades) 
  • Tube sizes 
  • BVM, OPA, NPA (contributed by @jcillo)

6. Video laryngoscope with appropriate stylet, working light, plugged, and tongue blade

7. Cardiac monitor

  • Blood pressure cuff: make sure you have different sizes 
  • Pulse oximetry: know the different kinds 
  • ECG leads: cables and stickers

8. Gurney

  • You want a working gurney where you can lift the head of the bed at least 45 degrees 

9. Central line kit: different sizes, triple lumens, trauma infusers

10. Code Cart with their appropriate drugs

  • This is usually checked by the charge nurse, just make sure it’s in every resus room

11. Blood products (in the oven)

  • What’s the blood bank’s extension number? 

12. Chest tubes

  • Chest drainage systems

13. Ultrasound

  • Plugged, clean machine and probes, probe covers.

14. Ventilator Machine

  • What’s the respiratory therapist’s extension number? 
  • Know your ventilator machine.

15. Intravenous pumps

  • Nurses are usually in charge of these, but make sure they are in the room.

16. Blood draw equipment

  • Tubes, tourniquets,  syringes, butterflies, intravenous catheters.

17. Foley catheters

18. Naso/Orogastric tubes

19. Childbirth equipment

20. Naso/Orogastric tubes

21. Childbirth equipment and warmer

22. Ophthalmoscope

23. Broselow tape

24. Telephone and phone/pager contact list (contributed by Matthew Mac Partlin)

25. Routes and distance/time to key locations (Radiology, OT, ICU, Blood bank)  (contributed by Matthew Mac Partlin

I hope this serves as a guide to make sure your resuscitation room is working appropriately.

Javier Benitez, MD

Javier Benitez, MD

ALiEM Featured Contributor
Javier Benitez, MD


Medical doctor, tweets not medical advice or endorsements. Interested in #MedEd & technology. Always learning. I'm no expert. No financial conflict of interest.
Javier Benitez, MD