Avoid risk of injury during epidurals by using the EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Safety Standards Improved During Epidurals

Epidural positioning devices are making it much easier, more comfortable, and safer for patients while also improving safety for and medical professionals during epidurals or spinal blocks. Whether it’s a soon-to-be mother in the labor and delivery unit or a patient being prepped for a total knee replacement in the surgery department, an epidural chair can make all of the difference.

What is an Epidural Positioning Device?

Known as an EPD for short, this medical device is intended to help optimally position a patient in the ideal position to administer spinal anesthesia. The epidural chair places patients in a seated, well-supported, forward leaning position to promote easy access to the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical areas of the spine. It provides an adequate level of support for patients of all different sizes and weights. This flexed spine position enables optimal access for the anesthesiologist.

What Makes an EPD Great for Patients Epidurals and Spinal Blocks?

Patients who opt for epidural pain relief can greatly benefit from having their epidural administered while they’re in an epidural chair. Traditionally, patients are supported via a stack of pillows propped up on a bedside table with wheels that don’t lock and are held in place by nurses. While this offers some level of support, patients feel more comfortable being supported by a solid chair structure.

If a patient faints or moves unintentionally, without using the EPD, the nurse has to catch the falling patient. The epidural chair provides the necessary safety and support for the patient and eliminates the manual handling required by nurses. Of course the EPD prevents them from falling to the floor and become injured. This makes using these chairs the best way to offer optimal safety for patients who are undergoing an epidural in the labor and delivery unit or a spinal block in the surgery department.

How are EPDs Beneficial to Medical Staff That Perform Epidurals?

Traditionally, patients who need to undergo epidural pain relief will require multiple nurses to hold them in place during the procedure. Nurses have to bear the weight of the patient and be capable of quickly responding to any unexpected responses, like fainting or jolting movements.

This puts nurses at risk for minor and severe musculoskeletal injuries. An epidural positioning device works to take that strain off of the nursing staff and allows the chair itself to support the majority of the patient’s weight. This means fewer nurses are needed to handle the patient during this particular medical procedure. The fewer nurses involved, the more efficiently the nursing staff can work to provide patient care to all patients on the unit. The EPD provides a new standard of safety in the hospital. With the EPD nurses can work more efficiently in a repeatable process that improves both nursing safety and patient safety.

More Epidural Pain Relief Will Be Requested by Patients

As researchers commonly pour through statistics to learn more about spinal anesthesia techniques and trends that lead to improved patient outcomes, one fact has become increasingly clear. According to a published medical article in Anesthesiology, the number of women who opt for epidurals during delivery has increased significantly by 10% from 2008 to 2018.

It’s commonly thought that the rise in patient education about the birthing process has led many pregnant women to ask for this form of spinal pain relief. As education levels continue to rise, it’s predicted that the percentage of women opting for epidurals during delivery is going to increase even more.

With more epidurals being requested for birthing deliveries and spinal blocks for specialized ortho surgeries, it’s more important than ever before to invest in an EPD. This medical device will go a long way in creating a safer environment for both your patients and nurses alike.Improve patient safety with EPD

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.

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.


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.

Safety During Thoracentesis using the EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

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.

Epidural Positioning Chair in Labor and Delivery
CategoriesPatient Handling

Leading Epidural Safety

Patient and caregiver comfort and safety are at stake when performing spinal blocks before ortho surgeries and epidural placements for expectant mothers. These tasks are so common place in the Pre-Op area of the surgery department and on labor and delivery floors that nursing staff and nursing leadership often don’t consider the risk to their staff and patients.  Safety can be dramatically improved by using the original epidural positioning device. The device provides epidural safety by allowing nurses to position their patients restfully and properly, encouraging lumbar, cervical, and thoracic flexion.

What is an Epidural Positioning Chair?

Epidural positioning chairs came into existence about two decades ago. Invented by a renowned anesthesiologist, these chairs took some inspiration from modern-day massage chairs but have been designed to work in the clinical environment.  They’re created to offer stability, comfort, and accurate positioning in mind.  The chairs are used to ensure correct patient positioning during many different types of procedures. The chairs are widely used to position patients of size and obstetrics, increasing their comfort and safety.  The EPD or epidural positioner offers adjustable arm supports, a tilting and adjustable cushion for the face and head, and chest cushion that provides support and promotes the optimal flexion.  For patients using the EPD, their body position is stabilized which minimizes risk of errors by the anesthesiologist.  We’re finding new uses for the EPD in other areas of the hospital to support patients like the imaging department for Thoracentesis.  The adjustability of the EPD makes it adaptable to many different healthcare settings.

Where Is Epidural Positioning Device Used?

The device is primarily utilized in labor and delivery unit, pain centers, operating rooms, labor rooms, and surgery department units. The device has a variety of uses in the surgery department and also the device is used in medical centers where spinal and epidurals are conducted.  The EPD is the revolutionary alternative to manual positioning, which offers less stability, increases complication risks and puts staff at risk when trying to support or hold a patient in position.  The benefits of the device in departments such as labor and delivery unit where is often utilized have been measurable. The busy surgical department uses the device to prep patients for common ortho surgeries with spinal blocks, while nurses on the labor and delivery unit use it to position patients for epidural placement.  As mentioned above, the EPD has also found its way over to the imaging department where Ultrasound technicians are responsible for prepping patients for Thoracentesis.  The EPD is quickly becoming the standard of care in all three of these hospital departments.

What Are the Benefits of Epidural Safety?

Caregivers and nurses use epidural chairs in preoperative environments to position patients properly and seamlessly position their bodies steadily and comfortably. Unlike the manual task of positioning patients for a spinal block or epidural, which require holding stools or patients steadily so they don’t move an inch which clearly increases risk of injury to the caregiver, an epidural chair is comfortable and ergonomic. With these chairs, the risk of musculoskeletal injuries is significantly reduced by allowing the EPD to provide the support, not the nurse.  The following are the main benefits of using epidural positioning devices for epidural positioning.

  • The epidural chairs minimize strains, sprains and risk of musculoskeletal injuries
  • They encourage thoracic, lumbar, and cervical flexion, maintaining a stable and comfortable position
  • It maximizes patient comfort while some safe distancing for staff
  • Correct positioning increases the potential for needle placement accuracy, minimizing the risk of complications.
  • The EPD improves patient confidence, security, and satisfaction

Features of the Epidural Positioning Chair – the EPD

When considering the epidural positioning chair, you should consider the following features

  • Well-designed and portable with wheels that easily lock in place
  • A comfortable and adjustable face rest designed to attain and maintain perfect cervical flexion
  • Ergonomically designed armrest to offer enough stability and comfort to a patients’ arms
  • Lightweight and stable design
  • Adjustable and relaxingly designed footrest
  • 600lb weight capacity
  • Adjustable torso support to offer quality thoracic and lumbar flexion

The possible applications of epidural positioning chairs and the benefits the EPD can deliver to a healthcare facility are numerous. Patient and staff injuries and high risk of complications have been common issues medical facilities deal with regularly. With these efficient and effective positioning devices in place, the staff injury cases have been virtually eliminated while patient complications have significantly reduced. For the industry leading EPD used for Epidurals, spinal blocks and thoracentesis, along with any other safe patient handling to reduce workplace injuries, healthcare facilities must contact SPH Medical.

EPD solves patient positioning
CategoriesPatient Handling

The Use of EPD in Epidural Pain Relief

An epidural is a frequent procedure used to offer pain relief or numbness during labor and childbirth and some surgeries and chronic pain. An epidural pain relief is a technique that involves injecting a medicine into the spine’s epidural space, either an anesthetic or a steroid. This technique is used to offer pain relief or a total loss of feeling in a specific area of your body, such as your legs or abdomen. It aids in blocking pain signals from the spine to the brain. The anesthetic blocks pain signals by numbing the spinal nerves. It relieves discomfort for women in labor or having a cesarean section. This anesthetic is particularly effective at blocking discomfort from labor contractions and during delivery. You can normally move and control pushing of the baby when you have an epidural.

The Epidural Positioning Device

A distinguished anesthesiologist created the first epidural positioning device about two decades ago to improve patient and staff safety. The EPD has now become the gold standard of positioning devices. The Surgery Department and the Labor and Delivery Unit benefit the most from this development.

When it comes to positioning patients safely and decreasing the risk of injury to caregivers and medical personnel, the device helps keep patients safe while also reducing the risk of injury to caregivers and medical staff. The EPD is most commonly used to position a patient for an epidural placement but is also used in other areas of the hospital to position patients.  The EPD has numerous advantages for both nursing staff and caregivers.

An epidural chair has a stable foundation. It quickly locks into place and has several adjustable features to ensure that each patient is in the best possible posture for the treatment.  The following adjustable features:

  • Height adjustability
  • Tilting Paded Face Rest Cushion
  • Foot Plate
  • Depth Adjustable Chest Cushion
  • Arm Rests
  • Locking Wheels

Why Is Proper Positioning Important for Epidural Pain Relief

The Epidural Chair improves safety by appropriately positioning and supporting a patient for a successful procedure, the first and most visible advantage.

Complication risk is reduced. There is a considerable risk of complications due to the unique and strenuous nature of patient posture during spinal blocks and epidural treatments. With this device, caregivers don’t have to rely on their body positioning to keep the patient secure.

Anesthesiologists have also used the technology for various types of spinal blocks as a result of its success in delivery aid, providing epidural pain relief during various procedures.

What is Epidural Pain Relief and What Is the Risk to The Patient?

In the past, the nurse or medical assistant was responsible for manually positioning the patient, which increased the risk of injury or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Assisting with epidural procedures is one of the known high-risk tasks for nurses. Modifying the task or implementing engineering controls to eliminate the risk is the greatest strategy to lessen the chance of injury. Your team will benefit from the positioning devices engineering control and risk reduction.

Patients benefit from an epidural positioning device because it provides a stable base. When the patient is positioned correctly, the caregiver can rely on the device rather than their body weight to keep the patient in the best posture for the treatment. These advantages significantly minimize the risk of problems during a spinal block and epidurals.

Patient Positioning Challenges

  • During epidural and spinal block placements, clinicians in the Labor and Delivery Unit, Surgery Department, and pain clinics face various demanding scenarios.
  • Holding a patient in place poses a risk to the staff’s safety.
  • Pillows stacked on non-locking tables endanger patients’ safety.
  • Patients on medication may find it challenging to maintain the correct position.
  • Keeping a stool in place while supporting a patient is a difficult task.
  • Patients may have an unanticipated reaction and try to move.
  • Patients may feel dizzy or queasy, causing them to move around.

With this Epidural assisting device, the patient is in a safe, secure, and comfortable position. It is the responsibility of hospitals and medical facilities to ensure the safety of their nurses and support staff. Providing the necessary equipment is part of the plan to keep employees injury-free. While assisting with traditional positioning methods connected with epidurals and similar procedures like spinal blocks in the OR and Thoracentesis in the imaging department, positioning devices reduce over exertion, body strain and risk of injury to nurses. It’s critical to keep nurses and hospital workers in good health to function at their best.

Improve patient safety with EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Epidural Chair Solves Spinal Block Positioning for OR

Are you looking for a way to keep your patients and hospital’s medical staff safe? Do you want to lower the risk of injuries while helping patients get better faster? The epidural positioning chair may be the answer. Known as the Epidural Chair or the Epidural positioning device (EPD), the EPD is being used in hospitals and surgical practices to enhance patient safety. The device provides secure and comfortable, stable support for patients undergoing epidurals, spinal blocks, or lumbar punctures.

Many departments use EPDs for safe patient handling and to enhance worker safety in clinics, hospitals, and pre-op areas. The imaging and surgery department uses EPDs for comfort, to hold patients in positions for various procedures to reduce the risk of injury to technicians.

Epidural Chair: What is it?

People often mistake it for a chair, but it is actually the bed or table on which the patient is seated. EPD supports the arms, head, chest, and feet while a patient is seated. The device is portable and stable, allowing it to be used at the bedside as you prepare patients for spinal and epidural blocks. Various clinical settings, inside and outside of hospitals, can benefit from EPD. Epidurals are given almost every hour in labor and delivery rooms, and spinal blocks are now being administered even more often as the number of total joint replacements increases.

Epidural Positioner: Ease of use and maintenance

The Epidural Positioning Chair provides a better solution for nurses, medical staff, and health care facilities. Many hospitals consider positioning patients as the standard of care that minimizes the risk of falls, sprains, and injuries. The EPD can be used for epidurals, spinal blocks, thoracentesis, and other pain management procedures.

With EDP, patients can receive spinal blocks or other epidural therapies in a more private, dignified way. This is also safer for caregivers. The armrests adjust in six positions, and the headrest can change 180 degrees. The device can easily fit operating rooms, birthing rooms, clinics, labor and delivery rooms, and imaging departments. Disposable covers make it easy to disinfect and clean the EPD’s face rest.

EPD: The Benefits

During, after, and before the COVID-19 epidemic, thoracentesis became routine. Epidural positioning devices make the process simpler and more predictable. According to an expert, thoracentesis usually involves the patient leaning forward while their arms rest on a bedside table. Patients who cannot sit will lie on their side for safety.

Ultrasound techs also need a safe working environment. Syncope caused by vasovagal responses during thoracentesis can be treated safely with the EPD. Studies show many hospitals and medical centers use the EPD for thoracentesis procedures. It is also very popular with technicians and patients alike. In studies of pregnant women who received epidurals, women found that positioning devices made them feel more comfortable.

Compared to the patient satisfaction before using the devices, patient satisfaction increased significantly. Other benefits include:

  • Maintains correct thoracic, cervical, and lumbar flexion to maintain stable alignment.
  • Provides a more private and less intrusive position for the patients
  • Help to prevent injuries to medical and anesthesia staff.
  • Wheeled for easy mobility
  • Easily fits any patient
  • Increases patient satisfaction

Eliminate Manual Handling with The Epidural Chair

Nurses and caregivers manually position patients for epidural procedures in preoperative settings, operating rooms, and the hospital at large. During most procedures, caregivers must hold a stool, table, and patient steadily with their entire bodies. This prevents the patient from moving, resulting in an injury. When the medical assistant is assisting the patient in holding a flexed spinal position, they are potentially putting themselves in a risky position.

Handling patients manually puts medical staff at risk for musculoskeletal injuries. As part of perioperative procedures, staff members position patients as needed for spinal and epidural blocks, respectively, in Pre-Op, OR, and other rooms as required. Most patients sit at their bedsides and place their feet on a portable stool on wheels by the bedside. To create the “mad cat” flexed spine position, the nurse brings a non-locking bedside table to the patient and places pillows as needed on it. Sometimes, the patient is simply leaning forward while their arms are wrapped around a stack of pillows. By holding the foot stool in place, the nurse keeps the patient’s upper body stationary while holding the foot stool in place with the knees or thighs. The nurse or nurse assistant must often support some of the patient’s body weight during needle insertion.

Further complicating the situation, patients are often in pain, nervous, and unpredictable, putting the staff at risk. Several hospitals have concluded that prolonged holds and counterpressure tasks are high risk. They have redesigned epidural and spinal block placement processes to eliminate manual patient handling based on their predictable daily routine.

Besides reducing risk to the medical staff and caregivers, the Epidural Positioning Device creates a comfortable and safe needle placement position, ensuring increased patient comfort. Experts have shown that “normal” patients suffer injuries when they are handled manually. The constant turning, lifting, pulling, pushing, and transferring has the cumulative effect of causing small tears in the joints and discs, leading to injury.Reduce Risk of Injury in OR with EPD

Safeguarding the medical staff

Strain, back injuries, and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a severe concern for healthcare workers. The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) estimates that around 50 percent of all non-life-threatening injuries sustained by nurses are MSDs, with approximately 25 percent of these injuries involving the back.

The EPD typically addresses these concerns in preoperative rooms, which are prone to injuries. Studies show many prestigious hospitals use the device, including Mayo Clinic, VA Medical Center, Duke University Hospital, and Kaiser Hospitals. This device is an invaluable asset to the imaging team, perioperative, and Labor and Delivery (L&D), a win-win for everyone.

With the EPD, you can immediately and effectively increase patient and staff safety. If you would like more information or to request a quote, contact SPH Medical. The primary focus of SPH Medical is the safety of nurses and caregivers. The national organization offers a wide selection of safe patient handling products to healthcare facilities and hospitals nationwide, such as patient lifting solutions, air assisted transfer and positioning systems, patient slings, Nitrile Exam Gloves, N95 masks, and disinfection products.

The Epidural Positioning Device for safety
CategoriesPatient Handling

How to Improve Staff Safety During Epidurals and Spinal Blocks

When most people think about the effectiveness of modern healthcare, they think about innovative robotic surgeries or new medications. While these advancements certainly are relevant, they are not the only advancements that improve patient outcomes and increase staff safety during epidurals or procedures. One of the most recent innovations is an epidural positioning device.

Known more commonly as an EPD, this device is designed to provide better support for patients during the administration of an epidural or spinal block. An epidural positioning chair is most likely to be employed by an anesthesiologist and nursing staff to provide optimal spinal, lumbar, or cervical flexion. The patients will also see direct benefits.

The need for proper positioning relates to how an epidural is administered. The epidural injection occurs in the space between the spinal column and outer membrane of the spinal cord also known, as the epidural space, in the mid to lower back. The flexed spine position opens up this space. Epidurals are perhaps best known as a tool for pain control or analgesia during labor and delivery. Spinal blocks are similar procedures. However, a spinal block is a single shot in the dural sac. The relief is fast and effective. That is why a spinal block is common in general surgery.

Staff Safety During Epidurals wit the EPD

Despite the large volume of these procedures, the process of positioning patients today remains a manual and risky process for nursing staff during epidurals. Traditionally, patients must be moved in either a side lying position or leaning over a woefully unstable bedside table with pillow to enable spinal flexion and to provide access to the spine. Often, nursing staff must manually position patients and hold them in place. This requires a lot of manual static holding, counter-pressure, and other manualManual Handling Patients during Epidural pushing and pulling, which puts the support staff at risk of a musculoskeletal injury. Over time, this can lead to muscle or joint disorders that cause long-term impairment or pain. The risk to staff is often overlooked on the Labor and Delivery unit where nursing injuries are increasingly problematic for both employees and costly for hospitals.

Moreover, this process can be quite uncomfortable for patients. The idea of getting a shot in the spine can already be unnerving for some patients. The manual process of being held in place can increase any associated anxiety. Plus, since the process is done manually, there is some risk of movement or error. Patients often have higher comfort levels when they feel stable, properly supported, and secure.Improve Patient Safety with EPD

In this manner, the EPD solves problems from both ends. With an epidural positioning device, patients can be properly positioned without manual patient handling that puts nurses at risk of injury. Instead, patients are comfortably positioned with adjustable arm rests, a face rest and a foot plate so they can comfortably remain still while the anesthesiologist has direct access to the spine. Patients are far more comfortable, and the risk of injury to staff is dramatically reduced.

Epidural Positioning Chair

The applications for the epidural positioner are vast. They can easily be incorporated into the labor and delivery unit for expectant moms. The EPD has also gained a great deal of popularity in surgical departments across the globe. These positioners can be used to help patients prepare for common joint replacement surgeries where spinal blocks are a normal part of the standard of care.

Now, the positioners are even being purchased for use in imaging departments. There is a growing consensus that the use of a positioner can be useful during a thoracentesis. This unique procedure requires the doctor to insert a needle through the chest wall. The needle is then directed to the space between the lung and the chest wall. In some conditions, fluid can accumulate in this area. This is known as pleural effusion, and it can make it difficult to breathe. A thoracentesis, therefore, will ease the pressure on the lungs while also making it easier to diagnose the cause of the fluid buildup.

The EPD Providing Staff Safety

Given the precise positioning needed to complete a delicate procedure like a thoracentesis, the use of a positioner has obvious benefits. It is easier to get the patient into the correct position, and the positioner ensures that the patient does not shift or move during the procedure. When the process involves the use of needles in a sensitive area, secure precision is preferable.

In the end, medical advancements come in all shapes and sizes. While a positioner may not seem as dramatic as some breakthroughs, the benefits of the Epidural Positioning Chair cannot be overstated. To improve staff safety during epidurals and to increase patient comfort, the advantages make a clear argument for increased usage and broader implementation. New applications are continuing to be discovered, and it is clear that the EPD deserves a place in hospitals worldwide.

The EPD improves nursing and patient safety
CategoriesPatient Handling

Staff Safety During Epidurals and Spinal Blocks

No Room for Error When It Comes To Staff Safety

It’s hard to imagine health care without anesthesia or analgesia. Even after 175 years, they’re a medical marvel that no one takes for granted. Technology and innovation may evolve at lightning speed, but there are still no shortcuts during epidurals and spinal blocks. Whenever anesthetists place a needle in a patient, they summon all their knowledge, training, skill, experience and powers of concentration. Where the spinal cord and nerve roots are concerned, there’s no room for error. Simply put, if epidural placement is inaccurate, pain is the least of anyone’s worries.

Positioning the Patient: What’s the Problem?

There’s more to getting pain medicine to the right place than most people realize. Before the needle can be positioned, the patient must be positioned. That’s almost always easier said than done, especially when the patient is elderly or feeble, has difficulty following instructions, or outweighs the assisting nurse. That last scenario is quite common and highly problematic.

In 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses were injured on the job at a significantly higher rate than full-time workers in other occupations. Fifty-one percent of injuries involved muscle strains, sprains or tears, and more than a fourth of those were back-related. The average recovery time away from work was seven days.

Work-related MSDs, or musculoskeletal disorders, are injuries caused by lifting or overexertion. In 2016, MSDs accounted for a whopping 44 percent of RNs’ occupational injuries.

Needless to say, if nurses go down, the whole system goes down. Maybe you’ve never given or received epidurals and spinal blocks. If not, you’re probably thinking, “How hard can it be to tell a patient how to sit?”

Well, it’s a little like telling a ballerina to hold a picture-perfect arabesque while the photographer tries different angles.

That’s an extreme example, but the point is this: Patients are asked to assume an unnatural position and sustain it throughout a tricky procedure that can’t be rushed. Incredibly, some rather primitive methods are still employed.

The Perils of Manual Positioning

To achieve the ideal position, it’s not uncommon for staff members to prop up patients on rickety bedside tables and unwieldy pillows. Nurses and anesthesiologists who lack state-of-the-art equipment must be resourceful.

With any luck, the bedside table won’t collapse or tip. Hopefully, the pillows won’t slip to the floor with the patient close behind. Women receiving epidurals before hard labor, even those who avoid injury, are in no mood for such nonsense. The assisting staff member could easily become the next patient.

Given all the things that could go wrong with manual positioning, it’s easy to see why EPD use is becoming more widespread.

The Epidural Positioning Device

For epidurals and spinal blocks it is necessary, the EPD (epidural positioning device) is a godsend. The design takes several things into account:

  • Ease and accuracy of epidural placement.
  • Patient stability and comfort.
  • Weight support up to 600 pounds.
  • Portability.
  • Staff safety.

The epidural positioner is not just a luxury item any more than a seat belt is a nice accessory for a car. EPDs make it easier for anesthesiologists to do their job. EPDs keep nurses healthy and on top of their game. EPDs help patients receive first-rate care with optimal outcomes. Given all those benefits and more, EPDs are increasingly considered necessary.

The Epidural Positioner in Thoracentesis

EDPs are widely used in labor and delivery, surgery and orthopedics. They are even useful in radiology departments.

Thoracentesis, also known as pleural tap, is a procedure to remove excess fluid in the lungs. A little fluid is appropriate for lubrication; it keeps the membranes involved in breathing from rubbing together. However, too much fluid interferes with lung capacity. Labored breathing and pain result. Excess fluid can also interfere with imaging or diagnosing disease.

In any case, thoracentesis also requires careful patient positioning and needle placement. During Thoracentesis patients must be supported in a comfortable position over a prolonged period while drainage occurs. Radiologists and their imaging teams are thankful for the EPDs that make their jobs easier and prevent injuries.

The uses and benefits of the epidural positioner become more apparent all the time. This is one innovation that will be around for a while.


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