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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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Selecting the Right Material for Healthcare Facilities

Within a single healthcare facility, there can be thousands of pieces of equipment if not more. Each piece of equipment plays an important role in treating patients and assisting healthcare professionals. With their various functions, equipment is constructed of many different materials. We’ll explore some of these material choices and take a look at their differences, similarities and their role within your hospital.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used for medical equipment, and there’s a good reason for this. Stainless steel is extremely strong and durable, and one of the best metals when it comes to corrosion resistance, making it a great long term solution for many types of medical equipment. Additionally, stainless steel is praised for its self-healing ability, which is caused by the addition of chromium to the alloy. This creates a film on the surface of the metal which is very stable, and will continually reform, making the surface durable and hygienic. Stainless steel is antimicrobial and very easy to clean due to its self-healing properties, making it an ideal material for healthcare facilities that require sterile equipment.

Some common applications of stainless steel in healthcare facilities include:

  • Surgical instruments
  • Sinks and hand washing stations
  • Tables
  • Cabinets
  • Trays
  • Surgical Case Carts

Surgical instruments and equipment are among the most important applications of stainless steel.  Lakeside Manufacturing embodies the value of stainless steel in many of our surgical case carts.  For example, our new space saving case cart is highly durable and easy to clean while delivering heavy duty construction and efficient maneuverability.

Aluminum

Aluminum is another popular material in healthcare facilities. Although it doesn’t quite have the strength of stainless steel, aluminum is still a strong and durable metal that is well known for its corrosion resistance. Aluminum is the light weight alternative when compared to stainless steel and can be easier to maneuver when used for light loads. Another useful property of aluminum is its thermal and electrical conductivity, which is necessary in some types of medical equipment. Aluminum is a great option for equipment that doesn’t require a high level of strength, durability, or heavy duty load capacity.

Some common applications of aluminum in healthcare facilities include:

  • Supply Carts
  • Frames for medical carts
  • Stools
  • Tables

The Classic Anesthesia Cart from Lakeside Manufacturing uses aluminum to create a secure and lightweight solution for healthcare facilities. This medical cart is just one example of a medical cart that utilizes an aluminum frame for a lightweight design.

Plastic

Even more lightweight than aluminum is plastic.  Plastic is a very workable material and can be formed into virtually any shape for various equipment types.  Medical carts is one major application of plastic but the material is an extremely versatile material.  Plastic doesn’t match the durability of stainless steel or aluminum, but it can still be adequately strong for certain applications. There are so many different types of plastics that can all be used in various ways but the majority of plastics in healthcare facilities are made from thermoplastic materials, making them easy to disinfect, re-mold and re-use.  Plastic is a viable and cheapest alternative to metals like stainless steel and aluminum. Plastics are utilized in almost endless ways in healthcare facilities from very large machinery to small accessories and everything in between.

Some common applications of plastics in healthcare facilities include:

  • Utility Carts
  • Specialty Carts
  • Medical Carts
  • Bins
  • MRI Machines
  • Bed Pans
  • Medication Lock Boxes

Lakeside utilizes plastic in the construction of several utility carts and components of several other products.  Our stainless steel medical carts include polycarbonate doors that compliment the rugged stainless steel construction without adding to the weight of the medical cart.  The use of plastic also allows for the integration of a transparent window in the door itself.  The scratch-resistant window allows for healthcare workers to easily see inside without opening the medical cart.  For surgical case carts, plastic is a great material for flexible features and customization.

Copper

Although copper is not widely used in medical equipment today, it has been getting some buzz in the media lately due to its antimicrobial properties. A recent study found that copper alloy surfaces kill 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours. This is due to the properties of copper which allow it to remove an electron from the bacteria once it comes into contact with the copper surface.  This makes the bacteria unstable and eventually kills it.  These abilities make copper seem like the perfect material for surgical case carts and other equipment.  However, it is very expensive and not as workable as other material alternatives like stainless steel and aluminum.

One argument from health economists estimates that copper surfaces would pay for themselves in about 3-6 months if they were incorporated into ICUs.  Studies have shown that it kills a long list of microbes and has the potential to play an invaluable role in healthcare facilities.  The Sentara Hospital system in North Carolina and Virginia made copper-impregnated surfaces the standard across 13 hospitals in 2017 after a Virginia Beach hospital reported a 78 percent reduction in drug-resistant organisms.  While some hospitals are beginning to incorporate copper surfaces, the full potential of this material is yet to be seen in healthcare settings.

Lakeside's Commitment to Innovation

At Lakeside Manufacturing, we works with steel, plastic, aluminum and pretty much anything our customers require.  We offer custom solutions to meet your needs, no matter the challenge.  Our engineering team has the capabilities to modify existing products or completely custom build medical carts, offering an endless variety of options!  With years of design and customer service experience, we thrive on innovation and finding practical solutions to meet your needs.  If you're not seeing the right solution in our standard catalog contact us!  We are happy to discuss your unique application and hear your ideas.

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Hospitals and Organizations Work Together to Prepare for COVID-19 Surges

Hospitals and governments around the world are expeditiously preparing their state, community and hospitals for a surge of COVID-19 cases.  Personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, shields, gloves, booties and gowns are most notably in short supply and many organizations are stepping up to manufacture and/or donate these materials.  The world has also seen many creative solutions from engineers and businesses who are working hard to partner with hospitals in this fight against the virus.  As a supplier to the healthcare industry, we are doing our best to ensure high demand items such as isolation carts, IV Poles, and mobile hand washing stations are available to these organizations with the same swift lead times customers have come to expect from Lakeside Manufacturing.

The most prominent shortage in hospitals around the world is a lack of personal protective equipment for hospital personnel. PPE is essential to protect hospital staff from exposure and ultimately infection. Hospitals have already taken drastic measures to limit the use of these items with reports of some hospitals recommending that staff reuse masks following the recommended protocol of the CDC. Additionally, many organizations are coming together to donate PPE to hospitals across the US. The website getusppe.org is one of the resources hospitals have turned to which allows hospitals to list their PPE needs and delivery instructions while allowing donors to identify local hospitals that need supplies.

Other ways in which hospitals have been able to combat supply shortages is through informal partnerships with businesses, manufacturers and universities. One example of this comes from the University of Madison-Wisconsin Grainger Design Innovation Lab where engineers have created a prototype and already partnered with a manufacturer to assemble face shields for hospital personnel. This type of successful innovation has occurred across the world as businesses outside the healthcare industry creatively repurpose their facilities to help combat this global crisis.

As a supplier to the healthcare industry, Lakeside understands the importance of readying inventory to prepare for the needs of our clients. Lakeside’s manufacturing facilities have been working hard to ensure they can do their part to serve as a reliable and safe source of stainless steel medical carts during this global situation. Specifically, Lakeside is ensuring that the following products will be available to ship within 2-3 days of order:

  • Utility cart models 422, 311, 411, 444 and 459 are ideal for all sizes of storage and continuous transporting over even floor surfaces. These carts are durable and include protective bumpers to safeguard furnishings and sanitize easily.
  • Standard guard rail cart models 316, 526 and 730 are optimal for any situation where hospital personnel are transporting vital items which can easily fall off a cart. Protective guard rails help eliminate spills and breakage of materials ensuring hospitals reduce the risk of wasting critical medical supplies. The welded stainless steel construction provides exceptional durability and easy sanitation.
  • The 4 shelf compact utility cart with nylon cover is a compact, maneuverable cart available in three different shelf sizes to tailor to client needs. The all-welded stainless steel construction allows for a durable and sanitary option in linen delivery. The standard blue nylon cart cover protects linens from airborne dust and dirt, while at the same time allowing for easy accessibility to the contents of the cart.

Lakeside continues to monitor the global environment related to COVID-19 and is taking proactive measures to ensure operations continue to the satisfaction of customers.  Visit our COVID-19 Resource Page to see more insights from our team. As hospitals face increased pressure to prepare their facilities for COVID-19, Lakeside is working diligently to help secure the supply of essential healthcare products that play a role in distributing and storing PPE throughout healthcare facilities.  The supply lines of the healthcare industry are vital to fighting this virus, and here at Lakeside we will continue to do our part in serving the industry during this time of need.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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The Importance of Stainless Steel

Amidst the global spread of COVID-19, sanitization is more important than ever, especially for healthcare facilities, who are on the front lines of the battle against this pandemic. Sanitary equipment is imperative to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and our healthcare facilities need access to increased amounts of supplies such as masks, ventilators, hospital beds, emergency carts, and other ancillary equipment. While hospitals are investing in additional supplies, we must consider what materials are best suited to combat this situation. Medical equipment is manufactured with various types of metals, plastics, and more. But which is the best for safety and sanitization? The consensus of the medical community is widely agreed upon: stainless steel.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steels are iron-based alloys that contain at least 10.5% chromium and 1.2% or less carbon. There are many different types or grades of stainless steel which are created by altering the percentages of its contents, and adding in different metals and elements such as:

• Nickel
• Molybdenum
• Titanium
• Copper
• Carbon
• Nitrogen

In fact, there are over 50 different grades of stainless steel. Grades such as 200 and 400 series are widely used but they all share properties that cause this metal to have its unique sterilization capabilities. Stainless Steel gets its “claim to fame” due to its ability to resist rust and corrosion. This property is due to the addition of chromium which creates a chromium-oxide film on the surface when exposed to oxygen. This film acts as a barrier between the steel and the environment. If the film is broken, it has the ability to self-heal, as long as oxygen is present. With this ability, stainless steel makes an excellent choice for medical equipment that is constantly wiped down, washed and cleaned. All this cleaning would likely damage other materials but this where stainless really shines! It’s chromium-oxide film allows it to heal itself after getting beat up by the variety of cleaning methods necessary in a healthcare environment.

Why is stainless steel the hygienic standard in healthcare facilities?

The unique capability to self-heal helps create a surface that is very easy to sanitize in comparison to other materials used widely in medical equipment. Other materials such as ceramics, plastics and polymers are susceptible to micro cracks, dents, and scratches which harbor bacteria and other germs. Oftentimes these micro cracks are invisible to the naked eye, making these materials especially challenging to thoroughly clean. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is highly durable and resistant to cracks, dents and scratches. Its natural film protects the metal and reduces the amount of maintenance necessary. With all this in mind, it becomes clear why other materials cannot steel the crown from stainless steel as the king of durability and cleanability.

We can also see why stainless steel is widely used in medical applications. Not only is it extremely durable, but it is also an easy material to work with as it can be cut, welded, and shaped very easily, while providing extra strength. Stainless steel also lasts much longer than other materials and won’t scratch and dent over time. This makes stainless steel an excellent investment that ensures easy cleaning and low maintenance for years to come. Stainless steel also has high temperature resistance, meaning that even in high temperature environments it won’t deform or break under mechanical stress unlike many other materials.

Common Medical Applications of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is used for a variety of different medical applications including:

  • Surgical Instruments
  • Cabinets
  • Sinks
  • Tables
  • Stands
  • Case Carts
  • Utility Carts

Stainless steel is specifically useful for utility carts as they must be able to carry heavy loads, while not being too heavy by themselves. Additionally, the sanitary element is very important for utility carts in healthcare facilities, and stainless steel provides the best surface to ensure safe and sanitary equipment. A great example of the strength of stainless steel comes from the Lakeside 444 Utility Cart which has a capacity of 500 lbs. while only weighing 68 lbs. itself. Utility carts like this have the best durability and value, because they will last much longer than a similar cart made from aluminum or a different alloy.

Importance of Stainless Steel During COVID-19

The ongoing pandemic is pushing the healthcare industry to the limit, and the need for safe and sanitary equipment is at an all-time high. Because COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, it spreads very easily, and healthcare facilities and equipment must be sanitized effectively. It is recommended that healthcare facilities assign the daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces to the nurses and personnel who will already be in close contact with the patient. The use of stainless steel instead of plastic or aluminum equipment makes the sterilization process simpler and takes a load off the healthcare professionals who are tasked with the job of cleaning these hazardous surfaces.

Lakeside Manufacturing is committed to supporting medical facilities with rapid manufacturing and shipping times. Our facility remains open and operational under the essential business provisions granted by local and federal guidelines. Please reach out if your facility is in need of case carts or utility carts during this challenging time. Lakeside is prepared to support increased demand of stainless steel products and remains dedicated to providing quality healthcare solutions.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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A Guide to Disinfecting Stainless Steel

Medical communities around the globe are more preoccupied than ever with disinfecting equipment.  COVID-19 is changing the conversation about how we clean, not only in medical facilities but also at home and throughout our communities.  With stainless steel being the preferred material by the medical community, it is imperative that we understand how to properly sanitize stainless steel equipment.  Lakeside manufactures a wide variety of stainless steel medical carts, shelves and accessories and we’ve put together a guide on how to accomplish this.

Selecting a Disinfectant

According to a study from the National Institute of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 was detectable on up to three days on stainless steel products. Therefore, verifying that the correct product is being used to disinfect surfaces is paramount.  The Environment Protection Agency created a list of disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19.

While bleach should generally be avoided for cleaning stainless steel products, common products such as Lysol Spray or Lysol Wipes can be used on stainless steel.  If you decide to use a product of this type, it is extremely important that you rinse the surface thoroughly with fresh water.  Lysol and similar products can be abrasive to stainless steel if the substance is on the surface of the stainless steel for an extended period.

Using the Right Tools

Prior to cleaning and disinfecting any surface, it is imperative to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  There are four major types of PPE including face shields, gloves, goggles, and gowns. At minimum gloves and eye protection should be used before cleaning any potentially contaminated surface.

Certain cleaning utensils like steel wool or other steel brushes are too abrasive for stainless steel.  These types of tools can contain iron particles.  When used to clean stainless steel, they can leave metal particles on the surface and lead to rust formation.  A soft cloth, gentle brushes, or sponges are much better alternatives.

The Cleaning Process

To effectively sanitize a stainless steel surface, it is recommended to begin by using hot soap and water. Using your towel, you can then begin to use any additional cleaning solutions.  Always rub in the direction of the steel grain for maximum effectiveness and to avoid scratching the surface.

After all disinfectants are applied, rinse the surface thoroughly with fresh, warm water.  Always remember to completely wipe the surface dry. This process should be repeated after every disinfecting operation.  As always – and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – frequent cleaning is strongly recommended.

Lakeside Manufacturing is committed to supporting medical facilities with rapid manufacturing and lead times.  Our facility remains open and operational under the essential business provisions granted by local and federal guidelines. Lakeside is prepared to support increased demand of stainless steel products and remains dedicated to providing quality healthcare solutions.  For more information about the stainless steel carts we have available, please review our Healthcare Catalog.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.