Rainbow Trays2018-05-10T03:09:34+00:00

Designed to aid in the reduction of medication errors
in anaesthesia and improve patient safety.

Rainbow TraysTM are colour coded anaesthetic trays for use in operating theatres by anaesthetists supporting the AAGBI & RCoA colour coded critical care labelling system. The trays provide a safe environment for the transportation and storage of syringes and ampoules.

The objective of the Rainbow TraysTM is to deliver standardised storage of drugs using a tray system that incorporates logical progression integrated with the established international colour coding for critical care drug labelling, without interfering with or confining the normal working practices of individual anaesthetists.

Rainbow TraysTM have been designed with the collaboration of anaesthetists, pharmacists and heathcare workers in response to the demands of best practice, clinical governance and patient safety​.

“Anaesthetic practice is unique because anaesthetists are personally responsible for all steps from drug preparation to drug administration, removing many barriers against medication error that would normally be in place in other healthcare environments.”

– Iain Moppett, Associate Professor & Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist

Rainbow TraysTM comprise three seperate trays; The Main Tray for routine drugs, The Local Tray for local anaesthetics needing to be kept seperate from the routine drugs to avoid accidental use and The Emergency Tray for drugs only to be used in emergency situations.

This configuration enables the routine, local and emergengy drugs to be clearly seperated with the two smaller trays being situated beneath the main routine tray if desired.

Main Tray

  • Orange Hypnotics
  • Blue Opioids
  • Yellow Induction agents
  • Red Muscle relaxants
  • Salmon Anti-emetics
  • White Misc. including antibiotics
  • Red/White Reversal agents
Induction agents
Muscle relaxants
Misc. including antibiotics
Reversal agents

Emergency Tray

  • Violet Vasopressors     Vasopressors 
  • Green                                     Anticholinergic agents

Local Tray

  • Grey                                        Local anaesthetics

Current Practice

Current practice for the transportation and storage of anaesthetic drugs prior to administration usually involves all the drugs being placed in a single non-compartmentionalised tray made from either paper pulp or polypropylene.

This means that drugs can be swapped or mis placed and the respective ampoule is not at hand for quick checking prior to administration

Rainbow Trays deliver on four important issues:


• Supports the ASTM critical care colour code labelling system
• Standardises the logical progression of use from induction to reversal


• Physical separation of all drug types to reduce the risk of syringe swaps
• Complete segregation of emergency and local anaesthetics
• Keeps relevant ampoule with syringe for effective double checking

Infection Control

• Bacteriostatic material will not harbour any bacterial growth
• No dispersal of harmful pulp fibres in operating area
• Single use trays

Patient Safety

The AAGBI & RCoA critical care labelling system for anaesthetic drugs is internationally recognised as an ASTM standard.

This means that any healthcare professional worldwide will instantly understand the Rainbow TrayTM system and be able to use the trays with virtually no instruction.

They are simple and effective in design and fully support an established mode of practice.

Rainbow Trays are an innovative but simple product that will make a signifi cant contribution to patient safety in all areas where anaesthesia is delivered.

“Adequate, uncluttered surface space and appropriate trays, clean for each patient, should be provided for drawing up, arranging and holding the syringes and drugs used in each anaesthetic. Wherever possible this should be standardised.”

– EBA Recommendations for Safe Medication Practice 2016

“Perhaps greater attention is also needed to organizing anaesthetic workspace with attention to detail on where and how the most potentially dangerous drugs are kept and handled.”

– NAP5 13.42