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
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 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.

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.

Thoracentesis and other procedures are safer for patients and staff when using the EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Risk Reduction During Thoracentesis

When undergoing medical procedures, the safety of patients and medical staff alike is of utmost importance. This is especially true when a patient is at increased risk due to surgical intervention or other complex procedures that could lead to severe injuries or additional health complications. As such, risk reduction during Thoracentesis must be employed to safeguard all parties involved. Case in point, an epidural positioning device, or EPD, is utilized for those undergoing thoracentesis procedures.

The Importance of an EPD and How It Works

The use of an epidural positioner, which is more commonly known as an epidural chair, has become the standard of care when it comes to securely positioning of individuals in peri-operative areas preparing for surgery and spinal blocks or in diagnostic imaging areas where ultrasound technicians are preparing patients for Thoracentesis. Moreover, this tool also helps reduce the risk of nursing injury and potential harm to other caregivers. Originally developed more than 20 years ago for obstetrics, pre-op, and spinal procedures, its use allows for the proper positioning of patients during a spinal block, epidural placements, land a myriad of medical procedures. Moreover, it touts many benefits for users and caregivers alike.

Epidural positioners assist with lumbar, thoracic, and cervical flexion while ensuring proper alignment and bolstering stability. There are two types of EPDs, one manual or non-powered, and one electric. The manual version features a spring-loaded adjustment control that operates the midsection and footrest portions. Meanwhile, the electronic version, or e-EPD, operates via motorized control of the midsection and footrest. EPDs are commonly found in hospitals, pain management clinics, surgical suites as well as labor and delivery rooms. Moreover, they are an ideal support device for thoracentesis, obese, and OB/GYN patients.

Understanding the Thoracentesis Process And Risk Reduction During Thoracentesis

During this procedure, technical staff are charged with positioning the patient in a comfortable upright position to enable the Doctor to extract fluid from the pleural cavity, which is situated between the lungs. This is accomplished via the insertion of a small needle through the chest wall and into the plural cavity to drain the fluid and is typically performed by a Doctor or Pulmonologist. The EPD device has an adjustable footplate, chest support, armrests, and a headrest for risk reduction during Thoracentesis and to ensure the proper positioning as well as comfortable placement of the user. These features work together to not only provide support and comfort, but the device significantly bolsters patient safety, improves patient comfort, and minimizes the risk of patient falls while significantly safety for the medical staff during Thoracentesis, epidurals, spinal blocks or other spinal procedures.

In summary, an epidural chair is a useful tool that provides comfort and stability for individuals undergoing various medical procedures, such as spinal blocks, epidurals, Thora’s, and other spinal issues that require flexed spine positioning for ideal needle placement. More importantly, an EPD facilitates a combination of safe patient handling, optimal positioning, minimizes the risk of complications, and reduces the likelihood of injury to patients as well as caregivers alike.

CategoriesPatient Handling

Improve Safety During Spinal Blocks

According to MedlinePlus, a trusted online resource for up-to-date information related to diseases and a host of wellness issues, a spinal block is commonly prescribed to patients undergoing genital, urinary tract, or other lower body medical procedures. They are also prescribed to pregnant women, in addition to epidural anesthesia, before they are due to give birth in a hospital’s labor and delivery unit. Also known as spinal anesthesia, a spinal block is a type of neuraxial regional anesthesia that involves injecting a local anesthetic or opioid directly into the subarachnoid space to block pain signals that would otherwise travel to the brain. Spinal blocks do a terrific job of keeping pain at bay so that patients can get through a needed medical procedure. But they can sometimes pose a danger to patients and medical teams alike. Improving safety during spinal blocks can be done with an epidural chair or epidural positioning device.

Safety During Spinal Blocks: The Dangers They Pose to Patients and Medical Teams Alike

Studies show that spinal blocks can increase a patient’s chances of experiencing low blood pressure, meningitis or abscess, hematomas, difficulty urinating, seizures, and headaches. As far as medical teams are concerned, many suffer musculoskeletal injuries due to lifting, repositioning, or catching falling patients that have received spinal blocks. Most of these injuries involve back pain and back strain that is so severe that many say they can’t work for a few days following their injury. To further put this into perspective, in 2016, the 8,730 days-away-from-work cases filed by hospitals involved medical teams that suffered musculoskeletal injuries while tending to patients in a hospital’s surgery department or labor and delivery unit. An epidural positioning device (EPD), such as an epidural chair, could have helped medical teams in these hospitals avoid many of these injuries, as well as improve safety during spinal blocks and epidurals.

How an Epidural Chair Can Help Improve Hospital Safety

Manually positioning or moving patients from one location to another is the leading cause of injuries among nurses, operating room technicians, and anesthesiologists involved in treating the roughly 324,000 patients who receive spinal blocks each year. These injuries have motivated many hospitals to invest heavily in medical assistive devices to improve patient handling and lower the rate of injuries among hospital workers. One such device is the epidural chair. Also known as an epidural positioning device or an EPD, epidural chairs support the arms, head, chest, and feet of patients receiving spinal blocks. The support they provide minimizes the risk of falls and makes it much easier to transport patients from one location to another as needed for their medical treatments. Studies show that hospitals that use epidural chairs file fewer day-away-from-work cases than those that do not.

Conclusion

Whether we are discussing safety in a hospital’s surgery department or its labor and delivery unit, EPDs should be part of that discussion. And this is because they make epidural pain relief via spinal blocks easier and markedly safer for everyone involved.

SPH Medical EPD Adjust the chest support cushion
CategoriesPatient Handling

Avoid Manual Patient Handling During Spinal Blocks

Epidurals are given to patients across many departments within the hospital setting. Most people know that women often receive them during labor, but there are many other times a patient can benefit from a spinal block, including: epidural pain relief, an alternative to general anesthesia, and to combat chronic pain. Yet, as common as the practice is, many healthcare workers in a labor and delivery unit or a surgery department who perform manual patient handling are at risk for injury. Oftentimes, patients who are in need of an epidural are in pain, nervous, nauseous, or confused. Nurses have reported even being physically attacked or bitten by patients during an epidural.

In this state, it is hard to manually control positioning and account for patient movement. They might not understand the directions properly or be able to hold the position, which means that several healthcare workers have to use their entire body weight to keep the patient in place.

In addition to patient concerns, the tables or beds where the procedure is performed are also not ideal for patient or healthcare safety, such as bed side tables that don’t lock, stacks of pillows, chairs with wheels. All of these issues accumulate for risky manual patient handling for the patient and their nurses or anesthesia technician.

Improving Healthcare Safety with an Epidural Positioning Device

An EPD or epidural positioning device is designed to promote the best possible optimal spinal flexion in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines for proper needle insertion. It also makes the procedure a lot safer then when it’s just performed with manual patient handling.

Even before considering the risks of performing a spinal block without an epidural chair, nurses are one of the most at-risk professionals in any industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses are injured at a rate of 46% compared to 34% elsewhere.

Manual Patient Handling and The Need for The Epidural Chair

The epidural chair directly minimizes this risk of injury for any labor and delivery unit or surgery department because it positions and holds patients automatically without the need for any special maneuvering or exertion on the healthcare provider. According to the Center for Disease Control, there is evidence-based research showing that replacing manual patient handling can significantly reduce the rate of nursing injury.

Patients see the benefit of the EPD as well. An article in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, patient comfort was significantly higher using an epidural chair, with over 90% of patients preferring the epidural positioning device to the historic manual positioning and holding. The EPD is a win-win scenario for patients and healthcare workers trying to deliver epidural pain relief because it is more comfortable, easy to use, and safer. For more information on epidural positioning devices contact us at SPHMedical.

CategoriesPatient Handling

Benefits of Early Patient Mobility

According to a study published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, early patient mobility significantly improves patient outcomes. In the study, Dale M. Needham, M.D., Ph.D., the university’s lead researcher, notes that patients who spend less time in bed and start rehabilitation sooner are less likely to suffer from muscle weakness, physical impairments, or mental illness than those who do not. Another study published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that patients who spend less time in their hospital beds are also less likely to suffer from the following:

  • Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
  • Blood clots
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

While we could easily say that these health problems can be avoided by not spending less time in bed, we must also acknowledge that getting out of one’s bed and engaging in physical activity doesn’t come easy for some hospital patients.

Why Some Hospital Patients Are Bedridden

All hospitals are acutely aware of the issues that stem from allowing patients to stay in bed too long. But not all of them have a safe patient handling program that makes it easy for patients with neurological conditions, infections, and vitamin deficiencies, all of which can cause muscle weakness, to get out of bed when they want to or even have to for medical reasons. The same can be said of many other health problems as well.

What Hospitals Are Doing to Promote Early Patient Mobility

To promote early patient mobility and, as a byproduct of doing so, minimize the risk of many health problems correlated with being bedridden for too long, a lot of hospitals employ safe patient handling programs to ambulate patients.  These programs consist of trained medical teams and assistive mobility devices that help get patients moving.  And this could mean lifting, repositioning, or transferring them from one department to another.  Likewise, it could mean getting them out of bed to exercise so they can avoid many of the health problems mentioned earlier in this article.  And it does not end there; several evidence based studies show the combination of highly trained medical teams and assistive mobility devices can also offer the following benefits to long-term hospital patients:

  • Improved cardiac function
  • Improved muscle mass
  • Improved respiratory function
  • Minimizing the risk of delirium commonly associated with being bedridden

Why Many Hospitals Are Choosing the SPH Medical Rowalker

Safe Patient Mobility with SPH Medical RoWalker

There are many devices that hospitals can use to ambulate patients, but many are choosing to go with the SPH Medical Rowalker.  Along with getting patients up and moving, these devices can carry just about everything they might need while in a hospital.  Also referred to as an ambulation device or a platform walker, the SPH Medical Rowalker is capable of carrying the following:

  • An oxygen tank
  • An IV pole
  • A cardiac monitor
  • A portable ventilator

Early Patient Mobility, The Bottom Line

Because they help patients stand, walk, and feel a little more independent, it is easy to see why many hospitals have made the Rowalker by SPH Medical their ambulation device of choice. Of course, the ability of these devices to lower a patient’s chances of developing blood clots, UTIs, pneumonia, and much more is just icing on the proverbial cake. To learn more about the Rowalker by SPH Medical, consider speaking with one of our associates today.

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