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Medication Security - Anesthesia Cart

Can an anesthesia cart containing medication be left unlocked in an operating room (OR) suite between cases?  

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only. 

If the individual operating room (OR) is part of a larger OR unit that is secured at all times, there is monitored access to the OR that assures constant surveillance of the anesthesia cart to prohibit access by unauthorized individuals, then locking of the cart between cases would not be required.
After hours, when the OR unit is not secured/monitored in a like manner, the carts must be properly secured. Whether the carts are locked or unlocked, they must be stored in a secured area which prohibits access and tampering by unauthorized individuals (e.g., in a separate locked room or in the secured OR unit where unauthorized access is prohibited.)
Last updated on June 25, 2020
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: Medication Management MM

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