Preventing Nursing injuries in Labor and Delivery during COVID-19
Preventing Nursing Injuries in Labor and Delivery During COVID-19
SPH Medical works with healthcare facilities to implement safe patient handling solutions to protect our frontline caregivers and help with preventing nursing injuries. SPH Medical does this by evaluating current patient handling tasks and processes and helping hospitals modify high risk tasks to improve staff and patient safety. A variety of proven assistive solutions and supplies can help mobilize or transfer patients safely while protecting both patients and caregivers from injury and infections. A key focus in Labor and Delivery units is to reduce workplace injuries by reducing manual patient handling during lateral transfer and epidural placement. These are two high risk tasks that occur predictably every day.
Equipment and Supplies
Within hospitals, staff continue to care for patients affected by Covid-19, along with dangerous c. diff, MRSA and COVID-19 concerns. The typical laundry system in hospitals is generally not capable of quickly or effectively sanitizing specialized or hospital-owned equipment. Hospitals therefore often outsource their laundry to external laundry providers. Unfortunately these external laundry systems often loos expensive hospital-owned goods like transfer devices. The infection prevention team within the hospital often recommends that single-use equipment be used when possible to move patients. Single use disposable supplies, such as gloves, gowns, and masks, are also required to help minimize infection transmission between patients. In today’s COVID environment all healthcare employees should be wearing an appropriate N95 Mask like SPH Medical’s Makrite 9500-N95. This N95 Mask is an FDA approved Surgical mask which is ideal for nurses and doctors.
Labor and Delivery
Expectant mothers want to be able to give birth in a safe and infection-free environment. The infection prevention nurse in every hospital is working hard to make sure that the Labor and Delivery unit is safe for mothers and their babies. Even in today’s environment, 31% of expecting mothers continue to receive c-section procedures.
In preparation for a C-section procedure, labor and delivery staff must administer an epidural to the patient’s lower back. The patient is typically asked to sit at the side of the bed in a flexed cat position or forward fold position. This position allows the anesthesiologist to access the intervertebral space with the epidural injection accurately. Unfortunately the nurse is often required to hold or support the nervous mother in this position. If the patient moves suddenly or falls forward the nurse may be injured. Positioning Device solves this by providing support to the patient and reducing the nurse’s need to provide a static hold for extended periods.
SPH Medical’s Epidural Positioning Device, or EPD for short, can assist with the patient’s proper positioning, improve comfort, and needle placement without the need to position them manually. The use of the EPD reduces the staff’s risk of musculoskeletal injuries as well as provides patients with the amount of stability needed for receiving an epidural with less risk of complications. Patients feel safer with the EDP.
C-Sections and Lateral Transfers
With c-section procedures come many repeated manual patient handling tasks that put nurses at risk. Patient positioning during the epidural injection is simply one of the many procedures that put our nurses at risk daily. Lateral transfers to and from the OB OR table is high frequency task that puts nurses at risk of injury.
It is very predictable that all c-section patients will need to be transferred off the OB OR table and some may need assistance scooting over to the table especially after an epidural. The patient is unable to help move themselves across to the table when they can not feel the lower half of their body. The nursing and OR team must determine how to safely transfer the patient to and from the OR table. What equipment is available to help with this? AORN recommends an air powered lateral transfer solution for all patients over 157 lbs in perioperative areas.
Lateral Transfer Devices Help with Preventing Nursing Injuries
A variety of lateral transfer equipment is available on the market to help move patients carefully to and from beds, gurneys, or tables. These devices are often referred to as Friction Reducing Devices or FRD’s. The old style “slider board” is not viewed as an effective means of preventing staff injuries. Slider boards don’t reduce friction to safe levels. Slide sheets like SPH Medical’s Easy Slide Disposable, for example, reduce the overall amount of friction during the transfer process. Slide sheets are available in several styles, such as flat with handles and tube style, launderable or disposable. These can be used in conjunction with a slider board for increased friction reduction. A better solution is the Rollerslide. Rollerslide works like a conveyer belt that rolls the patient as the patient is transferred between the surfaces. Finally, the gold standard of lateral transfer equipment is the AirPal system. AirPal virtually eliminates friction by blowing air downward through small holes on the transfer pad’s bottom side, which generates a thin cushion of air to float the patient from one surface to another. The AirPal system makes the transfer process more comfortable for the patient and significantly reduces the risk of injury to the hospital staff moving the patient.
SPH Medical helps healthcare facilities implement practical safe patient handling solutions to protect frontline caregivers and help with preventing nursing injuries. These solutions are not limited to Labor and Delivery departments. SPH Medical is addressing patient handling and infection prevention throughout the entire continuum of care improving work. It is not about obesity or COVID-19. Patients and healthcare workers are our concern, with the improvement of patient results and in decreasing the chance for infection or injury.