Safety During Thoracentesis using the EPD

Patient and Staff Safety Improved During Thoracentesis

What Is Thoracentesis?

A doctor who performs thoracentesis uses a syringe or needle-catheter device to remove excess fluid surrounding the lungs. Congestive heart failure and pneumonia are among the conditions that can cause fluid to accumulate in the pleural space, causing pain and shortness of breath. After a sonographer locates the best insertion point for the needle, a doctor drains fluid to relieve pressure between the pleural membranes and the chest wall. Unfortunately, medical professionals can risk injury when they position, turn, or hold the patient steady during the procedure. This puts the staff an patient at risk of injury during the procedure. Healthcare Works and nursing staff are calling for safety improved during Thoracentesis.

During medical procedures that expose the back or spine, it’s not unusual for a patient to sit on a bed, chair, or stool while resting their head and arms on a table. Sometimes the patient will lean forward on pillows that are comfortable but unsteady. Furniture that lacks locking mechanisms can slide or tip over, causing the patient or their handler to collide with equipment, slip, or fall. Nursing staff can suffer back injuries or musculoskeletal disorders from the physical strain of manually handling patients day-to-day.

How the Epidural Positioning Device Benefits Hospital Staff and Patients

Over the past ten years, hospitals have reduced the potential for nursing injury and accidents by introducing evidence-based safe patient handling programs, guidelines, and devices. These measures decrease the number of situations that require staff to lift, push, pull, or perform prolonged static holds on any patient. Many states also require hospitals to follow patient handling laws. Special equipment, like the epidural positioning device (EPD), has been key to reducing injury and liability.

The EPD, also called an epidural positioner or epidural chair, was created to promote ideal spinal flexion and hold patients steady during a spinal block. The EPD positions patients properly, comfortably, and securely during thoracic, cervical, and lumbar procedures. The device is mounted on an LDS base, and the upper part can be attached to an operating table with universal clamps. The epidural positioner accommodates a variety of body types and sizes. Its foot support, arm rests, chest support, face rest cushion, and height are adjustable.

Safety Improved During Thoracentesis with the EPD

Although the EPD is sometimes called an epidural chair, the patient actually sits on a hospital bed while the device is in use. A staff member can roll the device over to face the patient and lock the EPD in position with ease. Then the patient can lean forward slightly while resting their face, arms, chest, and feet on their respective supports. Once the patient is properly positioned, doctors and clinicians are free to perform thoracentesis without strain or worry. EPDs save time and labor costs while making medical procedures easier and more comfortable. The support they provide is imperative so that we can start seeing patient and staff safety improved during thoracentesis.

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