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Lakeside Responds to Demand in the Healthcare Supply Chain by Jumping into IV Pole Production

In March, the world was in the beginning phases of facing a pandemic of unknown proportions and here in the U.S., preparations were underway. Fears of shortages in the healthcare supply chain drove companies to evaluate their manufacturing capacities to identify ways in which they could leverage their facilities to prepare our nation for the first wave of the virus. Some companies started using 3D printers to print face shields, some used their resources to manufacture high-demand ventilators and companies in the healthcare business increased their operating hours to maximum capacity.

As a company already in the healthcare industry, Lakeside responded immediately to COVID-19 by increasing production on high demand items such as utility carts, handwashing stations and shelving units. Additionally, engineers at Lakeside came together to brainstorm new ways to service the healthcare industry by leveraging manufacturing facilities and raw materials on site. After hours of bouncing ideas back and forth, Lakeside engineers created a blueprint to begin the production of IV poles.

Just days later, Lakeside’s Milwaukee manufacturing facility produced and delivered its first IV stand, followed by many variations of IV poles and IV bag stands. As of the date of this publication, Lakeside proudly manufactures 15 variations of IV poles and 6 IV pole accessories, all built right here in the USA.

Lakeside IV poles were designed specifically to be easy to use and easy to sanitize. Chrome plated or stainless steel tubing provides cleaning staff a round surface to disinfect, and no corners for dirt and grime to collect in. Further, Lakeside applied their easy-rolling casters to the IV stands to allow hospitals to effortlessly maneuver the stands throughout their facility, wherever needed. Some highlights for specific IV pole models include:

  • Rapid Response IV Stands (SKUs 158331, 158371, 158495, 158496). They are all-stainless steel IV poles with a sturdy 20” diameter solid base that provides upright stability. The stainless steel medical pole has a 1 ¾” diameter that adjusts effortlessly to accommodate heights from 50” up to 90”. The product rolls easily on 5 swivel casters making it reliable for fast-paced hospital environments.
  • Heavy Duty IV Stands (SKUs 4850, 4855). They are all-stainless steel IV poles with an easy twist knob that adjusts the pole height from 51 ¾” to 93 ½”. The heavy duty IV stands feature 4 easy-roll casters on an epoxy coated steel base, with rubber bumpers to protect walls and furnishings.
  • The Space Saving IV Stands (SKUs 4865, 4866). They are all-stainless steel IV stands with an easy twist know that adjusts the pole to cover a height range from 54” to 90 ½”. The space saving IV pole is built with a 16” base made from epoxy coated steel. This allows this medical pole to maneuver through tight spaces and fit into tight nooks for more compact hospital environments.

With many uncertainties still remaining regarding COVID-19, Lakeside continues its commitment to the healthcare industry by maintaining its promises to produce invaluable carts and now, IV stands to hospitals and healthcare organizations. Our Milwaukee manufacturing plant continues to operate, just as our engineers continue to brainstorm to do our part to combat COVID-19, together.

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The Ergonomics of Medical Carts

Ergonomics in the healthcare industry has become a serious area of discussion in recent medical news. According to the United States Department of Labor, workers compensation for the healthcare industry amount to nearly $1 billion per year. Healthcare workers are essential in providing care but unfortunately this line of work exposes workers to many opportunities for ergonomic stressors. Hospitals pose a variety of risks including hazardous materials exposure and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Common tasks for hospital workers can create awkward postures that can contribute to injury or repetitive stress disorders. Employee injuries lead to increased costs, higher turnover and short staffing throughout a medical facility.

Ergonomic designs of hospital equipment are becoming more and more necessary for injury prevention.  When it comes to equipment, repetitive motions such as heavy lifting, pushing, and bending are high risk activities that can lead to physical strain on healthcare workers. At Lakeside Manufacturing, we place a high value on design and have recognized that medical carts, especially heavy duty stainless steel carts and surgical case carts, can be a source of ergonomic stressors when not properly outfitted.  We want to share some of the engineering innovations we have developed in order to improve the ease of use for healthcare workers and reduce the risk of repetitive stress related injuries.

 

All Swivel Casters for Easy Maneuvering

 

Any medical cart that is pushing or pulling heavy loads should roll smoothly with ease.  The Lakeside Ergonomic Series of stainless steel medical carts employs all swivel casters for easy transportation of equipment and continuous hauling of heavy loads.  These casters also allow for easy maneuverability over uneven floor or outdoor surfaces.  Medical carts should not require much effort from the user.  Even with a full load, medical carts should not require much effort from the operator.  When carts are difficult to push, workers put excess strain on their bodies.  It may not seem like an immediate risk to “put some muscle into it” but overtime, repetitive movements can lead to chronic pain or injury.

 

“Safe Zone” Shelves for Repetitive Loading and Unloading

 

Bending down to access supplies can easily cause excess strain on the back.  Especially if medical carts are stocked with heavy equipment that needs to be loaded and unloaded on a regular basis.  The Ergo-One 1,000lb capacity stainless steel medical cart is ergonomically engineered with exactly that in mind.  Shelf heights are in a safe zone for improved accessibility and decreased strain on the user.  The bottom shelf is 20 inches from the floor, leading to a significant reduction in the bending required to reach.

 

Ergonomic Handle for Natural Grip

 

Safe carts are predictable carts.  If a medical cart is making unexpected motions or is difficult to control, this can put the operator at risk.  The operator controls the cart, not the other way around.  Ergonomic handles play a role in easily maintaining control of the cart.  Lakeside has developed an angled handle that allows for a comfortable, natural grip to reduce strain of the user.  This design also allows for increased control and manueverability.

Lakeside Custom Solutions

Our Ergonomic Engineered medical carts are one of the many product solutions available at Lakeside.  We specialize in supporting your needs for customized solutions.  If there are additional modifications or features you are looking for, we will either help you find it or build it for you.

Case Carts

Lakeside case carts are highly configurable, all-welded stainless steel construction. Closed case carts are a perfect option for transferring cases from a remote processing area and open case carts provide efficiency to fit a lean picking and processing system. Rest assured that Lakeside's carts are durable and will serve you well for years to come.

Utility Carts

Lakeside has been the leading manufacturer of stainless steel and plastic utility carts for decades.  Our Utility Carts feature a wide variety of products for any area of your operation.  Whether it is our very first stainless steel cart design, the 311, or a heavy duty guard rail utility cart, we can supply you with the perfect solution for your facility.

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Manufacturers Adapt to Support the Demands of Hospitals

We have all become acutely aware of the incredible shortages that hospitals face due to COVID-19. Demand for PPE, ventilators, auxiliary equipment, etc. has skyrocketed as hospitals are scrambling to protect patients and healthcare workers. With the medical supply chain stretched to its limits, many manufacturers are stepping up to fill in the gaps. Even with increased production, our country’s largest suppliers are not able to keep up. In response, we are seeing companies from non-medical industries stepping outside their standard production protocols to support the cause.

Ford, GM & Tesla

In the Automotive Industry, Ford, GM and Tesla are designing and manufacturing ventilators by partnering with existing manufacturers and offering assistance to increase production.  On Monday, Tesla engineers displayed a prototype for medical ventilators that are in very high demand due to the outbreak.  The company plans to utilize their own parts and components in order to avoid disruption to the medical supply chain. Ford has partnered with GE and 3M to start manufacturing ventilators and PAPRs.  Over the course of the next four months, Ford plans to produce 50,000 ventilators.  Ford has also been 3D printing face shields at full capacity to support the crisis.

Clothing Companies

Automotive manufacturing is not the only industry who is jumping in to help.  Clothing companies including Zara and Los Angeles Apparel are producing masks and hospital gowns buy re-purposing fabric materials from their own supply chains.   These companies are striving to manufacturer hundreds of thousands of face masks and hospital gowns and are donating a large majority of the production.  Companies like Los Angeles Apparel have even hired additional staff to keep up with the demands for masks.  Many believe this will not be a passing fad but it will become the standard to wear a face mask when sick.

Dyson

Dyson, known for its fans and vacuum cleaners, is intuitively able to transition to production of a brand new Dyson ventilator.  The company has partnered with Grey Technologies to develop a new ventilator design that works efficiently to conserve oxygen, mounts to hospital beds and is easily portable.  Dyson is donating 5,000 units, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom where the company is headquartered.  In addition to this donation, Grey Technologies is making its ventilator designs free for other manufacturers to produce.

 

 

How Lakeside Manufacturing Is Supporting Medical Facilities

At Lakeside Manufacturing, we are utilizing our engineering capabilities to take products that are in shortage and create simplified, quick-ship versions as a rapid response to COVID-19.  We understand that the fight against COVID-19 will require all of us to innovate and find creative solutions to combat equipment shortages.  In response to shortages of IV Poles throughout hospitals, Lakeside has designed and is actively manufacturing a heavy duty, stainless-steel IV Stand with minimal lead time and shipping of up to 25 units in just 3 days.  We will be updating our COVID-19 Resource page with additional rapid response products.  Please contact us with any feedback or for current lead time estimates at [email protected] or 800-558-8565.