Improve Patient and Staff safety with the EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Spinal Blocks Epidural Safety Trends

Epidurals and spinal blocks are types of anesthesia that reduce or eliminate a person’s pain sensation. Spinal anesthesia is gained popularity over time as it is deemed to be safer for patients than general anesthesia and has a lower mortality rate for expectant mothers. Although these two forms of spinal anesthesia are similar the difference is needle placement. For spinal blocks, the needle is placed into the dural sac that contains cerebrospinal fluid where an epidural is injected into the epidural space. Both can be used to treat severe pain in the lower regions of the body. An Epidural injection is often used relieve pain from labor contractions in pregnant women. Another key difference is the length of time that each shot will offer pain relief. A spinal block is a single shot that typically lasts a couple of hours where an epidural actually leaves a catheter inserted in the back to allow a continuous drip of medication and the pain relief can be extended to handle a longer period of time, like 10-18 hours of labor contractions.

Spinal Blocks and Epidural Trends in Healthcare

Looking at the data of spinal anesthesia trends in surgery centers and hospitals both physicians and patients are choosing spinal blocks due to the safety and rapid recovery time. Many total knee and total hip replacement surgeries are using spinal blocks for this very reason.  Surgeons want their patients up and moving post surgery to improve patient outcomes. In 2021 Penn Medicine published a news release addressing the myth that general anesthesia is more dangerous than a spinal block. They make the point that patient deaths, outcomes, and delirium occurring within 60 days post surgery is about equal in a study that included 1600 hip-fracture patients across north America.  Patients are often given the choice of anesthesia and it would appear that Penn’s press release is well intentioned to reduce patient fears. And they make a very good case to equalize the risk between both techniques. They note that the post surgery delirium experienced by patients receiving a block vs. general anesthesia was about equal, However, undergoing general anesthesia often requires intubation and can lead to other side effects. It’s clear that most surgeons are recommending spinal blocks for their total knees and hips to reduce risks and improve outcomes but patients will likely have a choice.

Epidural Positioning Device

Epidural Positioning Device (EPD), also known as the Epidural Chair, is a key development in Safe Patient Handling solutions that helps position patients safely and securely in the ideal position so that an epidural or spinal block can be administered safely.  The EPD is a simple and easy-to-use and positioning device that has gained popularity worldwide. The Epidural Positioning Device or Epidural Chair is a portable device that provides the caregiver or nurse with the help they need for accurate positioning of patients while avoiding the risk of injury associated with manually positioning the patient and holding them while the needle is inserted.  An epidural Positioning Device (EPD) is commonly used in the pre-op area or surgical suite to administer the spinal block.  It is now the standard of care in Labor and Delivery units where epidurals are performed all day long.

Advantages of Epidural Positioning Device

  • Supports up to 600lbs
  • Reduces risk of injury to nursing and technical staff
  • Used for Epidural’s, Spinal Blocks, and Thoracentesis
  • Improves patient comfort and patient satisfaction scores
  • Improved efficiency and throughput for busy departments
  • Portable and moves from room to room easily
  • Assembles in less than 5 minutes
  • Creates a safe standardized process to improve patient and staff safety
Categoriesearly mobility

Benefits of Early Patient Mobility Revealed

Benefits of Early Patient Mobility in the ICU

The human body is designed to move regularly and stay active as much as possible. Failure to ambulate can leave you battling several health complications. That is why we see benefits of early patient mobility and it’s continued encouragement even amongst ICU patients. In this article, we have talked about the benefits of early mobility in patients as well as what ICU nurses and physical therapists need to do to make sure it is done safely without exposing patients to injuries.

Why Early Patient Mobility is Important

A study carried out by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine states why early patient mobility is important. This evidence based study goes further to demonstrate how the program can significantly improve patient outcomes. Dale M. Needham, M.D., Ph.D., the lead researcher of the university, says, in the study, that patients who get out of bed as soon as possible are less likely to suffer from mental illness, physical impairment or muscle weakness compared to patients who stay in bed a bit too long.

The National Institutes of Health also published another study discussing why early mobilization in patients is important. According to the study, patients who spend less time in bed are less likely to suffer from blood clots, UTIs (urinary tract infections), pneumonia, and bedsores, which are also referred to as pressure ulcers.

An evidence based article written on April 14, 2021, shows that patients who get out of bed sooner are also more likely to enjoy lots of emotional benefits than their counterparts who take a little longer to stay in their hospital beds. The article notes that early mobilization can actually stimulate the mental well-being of patients. It also points out that it can massively improve their emotional well-being. And this, in turn, improves the quality of their lives, while, at the same time, reducing overall recovery time as well as decreasing the serious risk of delirium.

Steps Hospitals Are Taking to Promote Early Mobilization in Patients

Although it is easy to say that patients can enjoy all these benefits simply by starting to ambulate as soon as possible, one thing we must note is that ambulation in patients who have been in their hospital beds for quite some time is not so straightforward. Well, this is where a safe patient handling program comes into play. Under this program, nurse leaders, ICU nurses, or physical therapists help mobilize patients and help them get back to their feet, literally. An early patient mobility program is a specialized program that falls under Safe Patient Handling where a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and respiratory therapists collaborate to get patients up and out of bed.

They use assistive mobility devices or rely on trained medical teams to achieve this. This could mean repositioning, lifting, or transferring patients from one bed to another surface like a stretcher, cardiac chair or wheel chair. It might also mean helping patients exercise. Well, patients who exercise have a greater chance of avoiding the health issues discussed early on in this post.

Using SPH Medical RoWalker to Promote Early Mobility in Patients

When it comes to assistive mobility devices, the SPH Medical RoWalker is highly recommended. Yes, there are lots of assistive mobility devices out there. However, the RoWalker is preferred because it carries just about everything a complex patient might need while using it. These include an IV pole, an oxygen tank, and it has a front basket that can carry a portable ventilator or a cardiac monitor.

All of these accessories make the mobility device incredibly convenient to use. Still, on convenience; this ambulation device has innovative features such as soft knee pads that support patients when standing and, when walking, give them much-needed protection. The most innovative feature of the RoWalker are the seat flaps. The seat flaps flip up and rotate outwards so the Rowalker can be brought right up to the bedside to help a patient to stand for the first time. Then the seat flaps can fold down and rotate into position during ambulation so that patient falls are avoided. The seat flaps also eliminate the need for a 2nd nurse or therapist to follow behind with a wheelchair! The several attachment options for oxygen tanks are worth mentioning too. They make RoWalker very easy to use. Moreover, the small footprint allows nurses and physical therapists to effortlessly fit this platform walker in any patient room.

Conclusion

Early patient mobility comes with plenty of benefits that health practitioners can simply not ignore. These include improved muscle mass, improved cardiac function, reduction in the risk of delirium, and improved respiratory function, among others. However, it is not easy to execute. That is why ICU nurses, nurse leaders, and physical therapists are advised to consider the SPH Medical RoWalker.

The SPH Medical EPD improves safety and comfort during Thoracentesis Epidurals and Spinal Blocks
CategoriesPatient Handling

Safe Patient Handling during Thoracentesis

What is an EPD and How Does it Help with Safe Patient Handling?

EPD stands for epidural positioning device. This is an epidural chair that helps to safely position and support a patient while getting an epidural or spinal block. This portable device allows for optimal safe patient handling without the physical need of staff members to hold patients for an extended period of time.

Why is an EPD Useful for a Thoracentesis?

When a thoracentesis is performed, the patient must be placed in a similar position as an epidural to allow the needle to successfully penetrate into the pleural space. Expert patient positioning is a must to ensure that this procedure is done safely and correctly every single time.

Unfortunately, using stacked pillows and relying on the physical exertion of staff members to hold a patient in place during this painful procedure isn’t always the best option for your facility. Rather an epidural positioner can be a great addition to any hospital looking to reduce nursing injury statistics and optimize patient care.

Where is Thoracentesis performed?

Thoracentesis is often performed in a hospital setting where a pulmonologist will drain the fluid in the pleural cavity. This can be an inpatient procedure or an outpatient procedure. One hospital that uses the EPD for thora’s, City of Hope in Los Angeles, California has their patients visit the ultrasound department where the ultrasound tech is responsible for preparing the patient. Ultrasound guidance is used to locate the needle insertion point and is considered to improve patient safety.

The Various Safe Patient Handling Benefits of EPDs

When it comes to safe patient handling, EPDs are a great way to help enhance your staff’s ability to keep patients safe and comfortable during a thoracentesis procedure. In fact, these devices provide many great benefits for patients and staff members alike.

Increase Safe Patient Handling with the EPD

The epidural positioner will provide each patient with layers of support that will keep them safe throughout the procedure. While staff members are capable of holding patients in position, these types of static holds put hospital workers at risk and there’s always the possibility the patient or the staff member moving.  For example, a staff member may experience a cramp or some other condition that compromises their ability to continue to hold the patient safely in position. With an epidural positioner, you can eliminate the risk of manual patient handling and ensure patient safety 100% of the time.

Less Risk to Staff Members

Nurses and ultrasound techs won’t have to hold the patient into position or continue to support them throughout the procedure. Additionally, there’s no possibility of the patient falling and staff members having to quickly catch a falling patient or support the full weight of the patient. Any equipment that helps to reduce long periods of static holding or over exertion by your staff members can greatly contribute to healthier staff members, improved job satisfaction, and will reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

Requires Fewer Staff Members

Another great benefit of epidural positioning devices is that they provide so much support for the patient that you won’t need to have multiple staff members manually positioning the patient. Rather, you can have one staff member oversee the patient and the ultrasound technician. This helps to reduce labor requirements and allows your staff members to more efficiently handle patient flow throughout the day.

Epidural positioning devices can be a great addition to your medical facility. They can work to enhance patient safety, speed up procedures like Thoras, and reduce the wear and tear on your staff members. Any good medical facility knows that investing in devices that offer safe patient handling and less physical exertion from their staff members is a must. If you don’t currently have any EPDs, it’s high time to consider investing in them.

SPH Medical's EPD Improves Safety
CategoriesPatient Handling

Safety During Spinal Blocks and Epidurals

The use of the EPD for patient positioning during spinal blocks and other procedures

An epidural or spinal block offers patients an option to remain awake and alert while receiving pain relief. They can even help patients to get back on their feet faster after surgeries and other procedures. Some doctors use epidurals to help patients acquire relief from chronic pain as well. An experienced medical professional blocks nerves by introducing an anesthetic, steroid or other medication via straight injection or a small catheter into the lower back. Epidural pain relief is often used during back, hip and knee surgery and the delivery of a baby. Yet, epidurals can pose risks to both patients and medical personnel. Read on to learn more about these risks and how staff at hospitals and surgical facilities are introducing safety during spinal blocks with an epidural positioning device (EPD).

How Common Is Epidural Pain Relief?

According to a Stanford study published in 2018, 71% of 17 million women received some form of spine-based pain relief during childbirth between 2009 and 2014. The researchers pulled the data from birth certificate records.

In a more recent 2021 study, also by Stanford, researchers learned that approximately 2.8 million pregnant women receive epidurals every year during delivery. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, approximately 50% of women who give birth at a hospital in a labor and delivery unit request epidural pain relief.

What Sort of Patient Injuries Can Take Place?

Accidental nerve damage is one of the most common injuries. Patients who experience nerve damage after an epidural often lose feeling, movement and strength in spots or extremities. Patients can also experience allergic reactions to medication, blood clots and infections.

Additionally, Stanford researchers found during the 2021 study that approximately 28,000 women across the nation experience an accidental puncture of the spinal dura mater membrane yearly. They tracked a small sample of women from the point of delivery up to 12 months and found that 74% of the new mothers experienced excruciating, debilitating headaches, known as post dural puncture headaches (PDPH), two months after delivery. By comparison, only 38% of mothers who didn’t experience an unintentional puncture had headaches. By six months, 52% of the first group still had headaches.

Of course, this type of injury and resulting headaches can happen to any patient who receives an epidural, including those who receive treatment through a surgery department. Other symptoms associated with PDPH include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, vision disturbances, lower pack or neck pain and physical stiffness.

What Risks Do Medical Personnel Face?

Anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians and others must physically move patients into and out of position for an epidural. This type of movement often requires that they support a patient’s full weight with their bodies. They risk muscle and tissue strains and tears and back injury from attempting to lift too much weight or catching a falling patient. If a patient loses balance, they risk falling with the patient and injuries associated with falls. They must also maintain patients in a particular seated position during the procedure, which can put strain on their arms and back.

How Does an Epidural Positioning Device Provide Safety During Spinal Blocks?

An epidural positioning device, such as an epidural chair, makes it easier for staff in a surgery department or labor and delivery unit to perform safety during spinal blocks. Although called an epidural chair, the EPD is actually a portable tool that the nurse or technician places in front of the bed or table where the patient sits during the procedure.

They can position the patient with optimal cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal flexion. This means that the patient leans forward with a flexed spine while seated, which is the best position for a professional to perform the needle insertion to reduce the chance of an error. Instead of the nurse or technician holding the patient in the right position, the patient maintains the correct position by leaning against supports.

Sources:

Stanford Medicine; Epidurals increase in popularity; Tracie White; June 26, 2018

Stanford Medicine; Post-epidural headaches can be more serious than previously known; Tracie White; August 2, 2021

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21896-epidural
Epidural: What It Is, Procedure, Risks & Side Effects; Cleveland Clinic medical professional; 10/14/2021

SPH Medical supports Environmental Disinfection to reduce HAIs
CategoriesInfection Prevention

Environmental Disinfection to Prevent HAIs

Environmental Disinfection to Prevent HAIs

Each year, about 1.7 million Americans get an infection while hospitalized, and about 99,000 die. This makes hospital acquired infections (HAIs) the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. The cost to hospitals for treating or to prevent HAIs is estimated to be as high as $28 billion per year.

The most common HAIs are urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections. However, any infection in a hospital setting can be considered an HAI. They can be caused by various microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Many different microbes can cause HAIs in hospitals. The most common include MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), C. diff (Clostridium deficile), CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and norovirus. Each of these pathogens poses a severe risk to patients, and some are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Understanding Environmental Disinfection

Environmental disinfection is destroying harmful microorganisms on surfaces to prevent the spread of infection. Disease causing microorganisms can be spread from one patient to another on environmental surfaces such as bed rails, door knobs, and countertops.
Various methods can be used for disinfection, including washing with soap and water, exposure to ultraviolet light, and using chemicals. Advanced disinfectants are a new generation of chemicals that are EPA approved and designed to be more effective against a wider range of microbes.

One type of disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide vapor, which is effective against various bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Another type of advanced disinfectant is ozone, which can penetrate surfaces more effectively than other chemicals and is also effective against a wide range of pathogens. In addition, advanced disinfectants are often less toxic than conventional chemicals, making them safer for use in healthcare settings.

One of the most difficult to kill bacteria is C. diff spores, which can live on surfaces for months. Oxydiff is a new advanced disinfectant that kills C. diff spores in 2 minutes, is EPA approved, and can be sprayed with a simple spray bottle, sprayed with an electrostatic sprayer, or used in a fogger. It is essential to use a product like Oxydiff that is effective against these tough bacteria and viruses to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

Environmental disinfection is critical to Prevent HAIs for several reasons

First, hospital surfaces are a common source of infection. The disease causing organisms can spread from one patient to another via contaminated surfaces, leading to severe and deadly infections. Second, many pathogens resist traditional disinfectants, making environmental disinfection a challenge. Multi-drug resistant organisms, or MDROs, are becoming increasingly common and pose a severe threat to patients.

Challenges Faced During Environmental Disinfection

One of the biggest challenges is finding effective disinfectants that can kill resistant disease causing organisms.
Another challenge is ensuring that all surfaces are properly disinfected. For environmental disinfection to be effective, all surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This can be difficult in a busy hospital where staff is often short-staffed.
Hospitals also face the challenge of educating staff and patients about the importance of environmental disinfection in preventing infection.

Staff must be aware of the dangers posed by MDROs and how they can help prevent the spread of infection. Patients must also be educated about good hygiene practices and how they can help reduce the risk of infection.

CDC Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidelines for hospital disinfection. These guidelines provide direction on how to properly disinfect surfaces to help prevent the spread of infection. Some of the key points from the CDC guidelines include:

  • Surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water before they are disinfected.
  • Disinfectants should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Surfaces should be allowed to air dry or dried with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Hospital staff should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Patients should be encouraged to practice good hygiene, including handwashing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Hospital rooms should be ventilated to help prevent the spread of infection.

The CDC guidelines are based on the best available evidence and provide a framework for hospital disinfection. However, each hospital is unique and some adaptations may be necessary to ensure that the CDC guidelines are met.

There are many different ways to disinfect surfaces, and it is essential to use a method that is effective against the type of bacteria or virus present. By taking steps to ensure a clean and disinfected environment, we can help prevent HAIs.

CategoriesInfection Prevention

Fighting Hospital Acquired Infections

Fighting Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospitals can sometimes be a breeding ground for infections, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that every year close to 2 million Americans develop hospital acquired infections that further compromises their health. These infections, the study notes, are born of viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens, and they can give way to surgical site infections (SSIs), bloodstream infections (BSIs), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and pneumonia. They can also increase a patient’s chances of developing C. diff, a specific type of bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea, nausea, fever, stomach pain, and other gastrointestinal problems. All hospital-acquired infections can jeopardize the health of patients and medical staff alike, but C. diff is one of the worst ones, according to hospital infection reports.

The Truth About C. Diff and How It Impacts Patients and Hospitals

Also known as clostridium deficile, C. diff is responsible for over 200,000 of the roughly 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections reported annually in the U.S., with the average annual cost of treatment coming in at around $6.3 billion. Most of the hospitals that have a problem with C. diff are those that use ineffective sanitizing and disinfectant products as a way to keep viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens that cause infection at bay. Most patients become infected with C. diff after touching a surface contaminated with feces and touching their mouth before washing their hands. So that everyone is on the same page, C. diff bacteria and its associated spores are commonly found in feces.

What Hospitals Are Doing to Comply With CDC Guidelines for Minimizing Hospital-Acquired Infections

There is no denying the intent; all hospitals employ sanitizing and disinfecting processes that help minimize a patient’s chances of developing an infection. But some use better products than others; one of those products is Oxydiff, an EPA approved disinfectant that quickly kills methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other infections caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens. Current data shows a large percentage of U.S. hospitals have made the powerful disinfectant their go-to for disinfecting hard surfaces, especially the ones likely to be contaminated with C.diff.2 min kill of pathogens using Oxydiff

The Consequences of Not Using the Right Disinfectant to Prevent the Spread of Hospital-Acquired Infections

Quite a few consequences cans stem from not taking the necessary steps to minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infection, some of which include the following:

    • Prolonged hospital stays – Patients who develop hospital-acquired infections often have to remain in a hospital much longer than anticipated, which leads to higher treatment costs. According to the CDC, the cost of treating hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) is more than $28 billion annually. It is also worth noting that the development of an HAI can make it harder to treat the condition that caused patients to visit the hospital in the first place.
    • Lost wages – Hospital-acquired infections are known to lengthen recovery times for patients after they have left the hospital and have returned home. And this precludes them from returning to work as quickly as they would like, which leads to a loss of wages.
    • Death – While rare, hospital-acquired infections can prove fatal for some patients. In a study published by the Alliance for Aging Research, researchers revealed an estimated 99,000 people die from these types of infections every year in the U.S.

Bottom Line

Despite being one of the most sanitary places anyone could find themselves in, infections do happen in hospitals. And they can sometimes have devastating consequences. But it is possible to minimize the spread of these infections by using a professional-grade, EPA approved disinfectant. Made up of a 5% peracetic acid disinfectant cleaner that cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes in a single step, Oxydiff is one of the best. According to the product’s manufacturer, it is a disinfectant that can destroy bacteria responsible for several infections, including those mentioned in this article, in as little as 2 minutes. With that being the case, it is easy to see why more and more hospitals are turning to this powerful disinfectant to help keep patients and medical teams safe.

SPH Medical EPD reduces risk of injury while improving patient comfor
CategoriesPatient Handling

Spinal Block Safety Trends

Spinal Block Safety and The Use of the EPD for Patient Positioning

When patients need to undergo a spinal block for surgery or an epidural in the labor and delivery unit, many hospitals rely on pillows and the strength of staff members. While this may seem like a normal process for your facility, it doesn’t have to be. EPDs, known formally as epidural positioning devices, can be used for effective spinal block safety practices. The EPD can help to ideally position the patient and hold them during the procedure will little assistance from hospital staff members.

Understanding What EPDs Can Do

Whenever a patient needs to undergo an epidural or spinal block, an EPD can do a number of things. First, it creates a solid surface where the patient can be positioned in a safe manner. An epidural positioning device is designed to have the patient in a seated position, with their head resting forward. This promotes optimal spinal flexion in all segments of the spine so the anesthesiologist can effortlessly administer the injection.

Approved an essential component for Safe Patient Handling programs, these EPDs solve many patient care problems. The patient will be more fully supported by the epidural chair than by pillows and hospital staff members alone. Additionally, there will be no need for staff members to have to quickly respond to patients that may move or fall during the procedure. All of the patient’s support comes directly from the epidural chair.

Why are EPDs Great For Medical Staff Members?

Without an EPD, staff members have to physically help the patient get in an optimal position for their spinal anesthesia or epidural pain relief. This can be quite challenging when patients aren’t highly mobile, they may be on medication, or their shear weight may pose a risk to staff members. Once the patient is in an optimal position, staff members often have to manually support their weight or hold them in position applying counter-pressure.

Since patients are well-known to move under pain, nurses need to safely hold the patient in that position throughout the duration of the procedure. This can be quite challenging when the patient is constantly moving or may move suddenly. Additionally, if the patient starts to fall, nurses need to be able to quickly support all of the patient’s weight. Catching a falling patient is a well-known cause of injury to nurses.

This puts a lot of weight and pressure on nurses and anesthesia techs. On an average day, many will do this procedure multiple times over, which can cause further strain on their bodies. There’s a reason that nursing is the second highest industry to have chronic workplace injuries. EPDs can help to solve these issues by eliminating much of the physical component of the procedure for nurses and anesthesia techs. This physical handling of patients is called manual patient handling. Our goal is to always use Safe Patient Handling techniques and the appropriate equipment to reduce risk of injury. The EPD supports these goals.

Spinal Block Trends

In recent years, there has been a large surge in the number of spinal blocks being performed in the surgery department. Many medical procedures that were traditionally performed under general anesthesia are now being done under spinal blocks. For example, many surgeons are now using spinal anesthesia for hip and knee replacement and repair surgeries instead of general anesthesia.

In fact, between 2007 and 2017, there was a 50% increase in the number of patients who received a spinal anesthesia block for hip-fracture surgery. Many doctors prefer how quickly patients can start moving again after a spinal anesthesia block as compared to general anesthesia options. It’s now more important than ever before for patients and staff members alike to have an epidural positioning device that can make spinal anesthesia blocks and epidural pain relief much smoother and less risky for all. These should be found in every surgery department and labor and delivery unit.

Mobilize Patients Early with SPH Medical's RoWalker
Categoriesearly mobility

Early Patient Mobility Trends

In the past, hospital personnel followed safe patient handling guidelines that primarily focused on the safe movement and transfer of patients with staff assistance from surface to surface or from bed to chair for example. Most safe patient handling programs that were implemented really focused on staff injury prevention. And as we all know today the majority of staff injuries come from repositioning patients up in bed and lateral transfers between bed and gurney or bed to table. In the past, keeping a patient in bed just seemed to make sense as patients getting out by themselves or when manually handled by staff were often at risk of falling. Today however, early patient mobility is now a trending practice across the nation. Professional opinions about this topic have changed drastically in recent years as more doctors, nurses and physical therapists have taken an approach that’s evidence based rather than stuck on traditional practices and norms.

Consider the following evidence and ways early patient mobility benefits both patients and staff:

  • Muscle Atrophy or Deconditioning Isn’t Allowed to Set In

    Many immobilized patients quickly lose muscle mass, strength and tone. The old saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it” definitely applies to recovering patients. Certain biological processes kick in during immobilization that reduce muscle mass. Movement can help prevent and reverse these processes. Patients who have difficulty with standing and walking can benefit from care out of bed that involves any type of movement. They don’t need to rely on physical help from hospital personnel alone. Several types of assistive tools exist, such as the SPH Medical RoWalker, that can help with this type of safe patient handling program to make it easier for patients to move around and stop muscle wasting as quickly as possible.

  • Prevention of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Events

    As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on its website, immobilized patients are at high risk of experiencing blood clots that can lead to heart and lung problems and strokes. Movement reduces clots by improving circulation. Increased blood flow can improve oxygen levels and respiration. Patients who have suffered a critical illness might also need an oxygen tank to breath when walking. Many assistive tools like the SPH Medical RoWalker have built-in features that make it easier for patients with cardiovascular, respiratory and critical needs to ambulate, such as a telescoping IV pole, a basket that can carry a cardiac monitor or small ventilator, an oxygen tank holder, hand grips and a built-in seat for breaks.

  • Reduction of Hospital and Overall Medical Bills

    Hospitals that implement early patient mobility can actually help patients reduce their medical debt burden. It might seem counterintuitive for any type of business to find ways to stop billing customers, but many patients who can’t pay their immediate medical bills are unable to pay them at all as time passes. Growing medical debt then often forces them to put off preventative care, which adversely impacts hospitals when those same patients seek ER care for emergencies they could have prevented in prior weeks, months and years. Additionally, early mobility during an inpatient stay can prevent costly followup ER visits by reducing the risk of related muscular and cardiovascular events. For example, it can reduce the number and length of physical therapy appointments and in-home exercises required for a full recovery, which decreases the patient’s medical debt burden from recovery treatment and the risk of more debt from an emergency atrophy-related muscle strain.

  • Additional Hospital and Staff Benefits

    The adoption of early mobility in an ICU and other hospital settings can open up beds faster. If patients are capable of getting up and moving around, they’re not going to need to remain in the ICU for long. Movement can even help staff determine if the patient is strong enough to leave the ICU and breathe without assistance. A safe handling plan that includes assistive and supportive equipment means that staff members won’t have to rush around or experience accidents to retrieve items they need while helping patients. If they’re using a sturdy, durable walking system like the SPH Medical RoWalker, they also won’t need to catch falling patients by hand. They can use the equipment to support the patient’s weight. Lastly, early mobility can help improve patient sleep and mental health, which can reduce ER surges and dangers to staff related to a growing national mental health crisis.

Single Patient Use Breathable Sheet for Repositioning
CategoriesPatient Handling

SPH Medical Repositioning Sheet Prevents Nursing Injury

Nurses are at risk for musculoskeletal injuries each and every day they go to work. This is especially true when it comes to tasks such as repositioning patients in bed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses and nursing assistants are at the number one risk profession for a musculoskeletal injury. Nurses are at risk for injuries when they manually move patients to reposition them. This can include strains, sprains, and back injuries. The SPH Medical Breathable Repositioning Sheet helps to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers and nursing injuries by eliminating the need for manual in bed repositioning of patients.

The American Nurses Association has created standards for Safe Patient Handling, which recommends that nurses turn and reposition patients every two hours. It has been reported that nurses lift more than a ton of weight during an 8-12 hour shift. This is why it is so important for nurses to have access to safe patient handling equipment, such as the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet.

The universal repositioning sheet from SPH Medical attaches to overhead patient lifts or mobile lifts and supports up to 1000 lbs. It is compatible with all hook and loop style sling bars on the patient lifts. This means that nurses can easily and safely lift and turn patients using the breathable repositioning sheet. The sheet is made of breathable fabric that allows air to circulate around the patient’s skin.

Pressure ulcers are a common and costly problem in hospitals. They often occur when patients are left in the same position for too long, leading to pressure on their skin. This increased pressure over time can cause the skin to break down, eventually forming a pressure ulcer. When it comes to preventing and healing pressure ulcers, nurses have a critical role to play. While pressure ulcers can occur in any patient population, they are especially common in patients who are bedridden or who have limited mobility. This is why it is important for nurses to routinely boost and turn patients every two hours. However, this can be difficult to do in a busy hospital setting where at least two nurses are needed for these tasks. Heavier patients often require four nurses to boost or turn them. That’s where the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet comes in.
Disposable Breathable Sheet for Repositioning
This sheet is designed to help nurses quickly and easily turn patients reducing risk of injury by eliminating the manual lifting, pushing and pulling. This sheet attaches to an overhead lift or mobile lift, allowing nurses to easily reposition, turn, or transfer patients without having to manually lift them.

The repositioning sheet is made of a lightweight, breathable fabric that allows moisture and air to pass through, which helps to prevent pressure ulcers from forming. The SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet is designed so that it can stay under patients during their entire length of stay. We know that when Safe Patient Handling solutions are immediately accessible to nurses they will use them and with the high frequency of in bed repositioning tasks performed by nurses the sheet becomes part of their daily patient care routine.

The Breathable Repositioning Sheet is an affordable way to help prevent pressure ulcers and nursing injuries. It is a safe and easy way to improve patient care and protect nurses from potential injuries. Nurses and hospitals should consider purchasing and implementing the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet in their facility. It is an essential piece of equipment that can help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries for nurses. It is a cost-effective solution that can help improve the safety of nurses and reduce the risk of pressure ulcers for patients.

Purchasing and implementing the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet in their facility can help keep nurses safe and prevent injuries. Not only does this sheet help to protect nurses backs, but it also makes the task of turning and repositioning patients easier and more efficient. Hospitals can improve patient care outcomes and increase nursing satisfaction by using the breathable repositioning sheet.

Contact SPH Medical today to get a sample improve safety at your facility.

Mobilize patients early with the SPH Medical Rowalker
CategoriesPatient Handling

Early Patient Mobility and Why Movement Matters

For those unfamiliar with Dale M. Needham, M.D., Ph.D., he served as the lead researcher in a study published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In that study, he concluded that early patient mobility significantly improves patient outcomes by reducing their risk of suffering from muscle weakness and mental illnesses. It, however, does not end there. Another study from the National Institutes of Health mirrors Dr. Needham’s findings and further shows that early patient mobility can lower a patient’s chances of developing pressure ulcers, blood clots, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

SPH Medical RoWalker for Safe Patient Mobility

Health Problems That Leave Some Hospital Patients Bedridden

Getting out of bed is not easy for some patients, and this is because some of them have medical conditions that affect their mobility. All hospitals are well aware of this. And that awareness has motivated many of them to institute a safe patient handling program to help patients escape the prison that is their hospital bed when needed. Before detailing what such a program entails, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the many medical conditions that can affect a patient’s mobility to the extent that they become bedridden. According to a study published by Cedars-Sinai, one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the U.S, the following conditions can cause severe muscle weakness and make it very difficult for patients to get out of bed on their own:

  • Neuromuscular diseases that cause weakness in the skeletal muscles
  • Certain infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • How Early Patient Mobility Improves Physical and Mental Health

To help patients avoid the additional health problems that can arise from being confined to a bed for too long, the medical teams in most hospitals use a safe patient handling program to help ambulate patients. The benefits of these programs are many. In addition to minimizing a patient’s chances of developing pressure ulcers, blood clots, pneumonia, and UTIs, not to mention making it easier for them to go from one department to another, they also contribute to the following:

  • Improved heart health and overall cardiovascular function
  • Increased muscle mass and a much stronger immune system
  • Improved respiratory function

Early Patient Mobility Published Studies

Along with improved physical health, escaping the confines of one’s hospital bed from time to time also keeps mental health problems at bay, according to several evidence based studies. One of those studies comes from the National Institutes of Health. In that study, researchers found that ambulating patients via safe patient handling programs significantly lowers their chances of suffering from delirium, depression, and other mental health problems.

Why Hospitals Across the Country Are Praising the SPH Medical RoWalker

No patient handling program would be complete without the SPH Medical RoWalker, say hospital medical teams who use them to lift, reposition, transfer, and otherwise ambulate patients. And there is a good reason why they feel this way. Along with mobilizing patients, the SPH Medical Rowalker can carry a portable ventilator, an oxygen tank, IV pole, cardiac monitor, and many other items that long-term hospital patients need the most. To learn more about how these devices improve patient mobility and overall health, consider contacting SPH Medical today.

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