SPH Medical's EPD Improves Safety
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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.


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

Epidural: What It Is, Procedure, Risks & Side Effects; Cleveland Clinic medical professional; 10/14/2021

Epidural Positioning Chair in Labor and Delivery
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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.

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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
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What is an Epidural Positioning Device

Did you know hospitals administer tens of millions of epidurals and spinal blocks each year for pain relief? Most providers perform these procedures quickly, efficiently, and with the assurance that their patients are in expert hands. Sometimes, when administering anesthesia for pain relief at the hospital, the staff administering the epidural or spinal block are the victims. Safety measures are essential to protect healthcare staff members from becoming victims of their patients. To avoid nursing injury and staff accidents, medical facilities are now implementing additional safety measures, such as using an epidural positioning device, training, and safety equipment to help reduce the risk of injuries.

What is an Epidural Positioning Device (EPD)

An epidural positioner is a positioning device that helps the patient lean forward into a proper position to receive an epidural while fully supported. It is known as an epidural chair and it consists of an adjustable headrest, chest pad, arm supports, and footrest. These components work together to provide stability and comfort to the patient. Epidural Positioner can reduce injuries and increase patient safety during epidurals and other anesthetic procedures. Devices like this are useful in operating rooms, labor, and pain management centers. The EPDs reduce patients’ and staff’s risk and improve safety by assisting with thoracic, cervical, and lumbar flexion while maintaining stability. EPDs are available in both manual and electric versions. The manual version has a spring-loaded knob for adjusting the midsection and footrest. An electronic controller controls the midsection and footrest in the electric version. EPDs are the best choice for obstetrics, thoracentesis, and obese patients.

What is Thoracentesis?

In this procedure, doctors remove fluid from between the lungs. With the EPDs, the headrest, armrests, and footplate are adjustable for safe and comfortable positioning for the patient. Using EPD for thora’ provides a solution to staff concerns about using the unsafe bedside table. Currently, EPDs for Thoracentesis procedures are becoming the new standard for care.

COVID-19 and the Epidural Positioning Device Use

As COVID-19 spreads, health care providers will continue to suffer disproportionately. Numerous frontline caregivers have been exposed in the U.S. to date. Manual patient handling is put into a new perspective regarding patient and staff safety, including staff distance and behavior. The manual handling of patients exposes nurses to musculoskeletal injuries and can increase their exposure to COVID-19. During spinal blocks and epidurals, the staff must hold the patients in position, increasing the risk of spreading the virus. So unnecessary contact is crucial for protecting the patient and nursing injury and sickness.

Safe Patient Handling and Epidural Positioner

Epidural and spinal blocks are techniques for perioperative pain management with multiple applications in anesthesiology. An epidural injects anesthesia into the epidural space, and a spinal block injects anesthesia into the dural sac that contains the cerebrospinal fluid. It gives immediate relief due to direct access. An epidural is a standard procedure performed during labor and delivery. Although it is useful as a primary anesthetic, its most common application is pain management. It can be a single shot or a continuous infusion for long-term pain relief. Although they are generally safe, there is always a risk of injury to the person administering the medication. Using these medications safely requires that staff be properly trained and equipped.

Safety equipment:

Staff members should use safety equipment when administering epidurals and spinal blocks. This includes gloves, goggles, and masks to protect them from potential infections and other risks and ensure their safety and the safety of the patients.


Medical staff should receive proper training in safely administering spinal blocks and epidurals. This training should include both classroom instruction and hands-on training, and it should cover the equipment needed, its setup, potential problems, and how to handle emergencies. Staff should also be physically fit. Safely performing these procedures requires physical fitness, precision, and agility. Personnel who are physically fit are less likely to suffer injuries when performing medical procedures.

Epidural Positioning Device and The Proper Technique:

Proper techniques help reduce complications and ensure that patients receive the best possible care. To administer epidurals and spinal blocks safely, staff must know most of the procedures. The epidural chair facilitates positioning. However, there are other traditional methods like the ‘mad cat position’ whereby: – The patient sits on the bed edge or lies on their side on the table or bed – A nurse stacks pillows on an unstable bedside table – The patient leans over it – A nurse places a stool under the patient’s feet In this traditional method, the nurse held the patient in the proper position during the procedure.


The staff should document all procedures, including epidurals and spinal blocks. The documentation can help to identify any potential problems.


A successful mobility program and safe patient handling hinge on buying in, acquiring the right equipment, and providing guidance on the best solutions to improve patient and staff safety. Ultimately, best practices are the key. It only takes one wrong lift to ruin a nurse’s career. It takes only one snap decision to end a nursing career, and we need all our nurses.

SPH Medical Epidural Chair improves Safety
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Epidural Positioning Trends and Spinal Block Safety

The Epidural Positioning Chair Improves Safety

The Epidural Positioning Device (EPD) is used to help patients get an epidural injection. The design is intended to improve the safety of these procedures by reducing the risk of accidental dural puncture and increasing comfort for patients. It does this through its four-point support system, which stabilizes a patient in a seated position during their procedure with padded armrests, face support, chest cushion, and foot rests on either side of them. The epidural pain relief procedure is a common way to provide pain relief during labor.

The epidural chair is used in Labor and Delivery unit and surgical departments because it’s effective at improving safety by improving patient stability and comfort. One of the most common solutions for pain and discomfort in pregnant mothers is epidural analgesia. This involves administering drugs through an epidural needle into the space around the spinal cord. This provides pain relief for the mother during labor. The medications used in epidural analgesia can also help speed up labor.  In general Epidural Analgesia is very safe.  There are some minor risks of side effects and complications for patients including low blood pressure, which can lead to a feeling of light headedness, and in some cases a temporary loss of bladder control

.1)Use of Epidural Device
The epidural chair is a simple yet effective device that helps improve the safety and comfort of patients receiving an epidural injection. The chair is portable on wheels enabling it to be moved easily into any area of the facility. The EPD is height adjustable adapting to each unique patient to support them in a comfortable position. This secure platform ensures that the patient stays safe and comfortable during the procedure. The epidural chair is available in many hospitals and clinics, and it can help make the process more comfortable for the patient. If you are scheduled for an epidural injection, be sure to ask if the hospital or clinic has an epidural chair available. This can help ensure that you have a safe and comfortable experience. The epidural pain relief procedure may also be performed in the surgery departments or in pain management clinics to relieve chronic pain.

2) Importance of Proper Epidural Positioning
Proper epidural positioning is important because it can help reduce the risk of accidental dural puncture and ensures a more accurate epidural placement. An accidental dural puncture is a severe complication when the needle used to give the epidural injection goes too deep and enters the space between the vertebrae and the spinal cord, called the dura mater. Spinal fluid can leak out when this happens and cause minor headaches to severe complications, including paralysis. Proper positioning and a comfortably stabilized patient can help ensure that the anesthesiologist is able to direct the needle into the correct position and doesn’t go too deep.

3) How does the EPD benefit the patient during the Epidural procedure?
The EPD is designed to properly position a patient in the ideal “mad cat” position that opens up the vertebral spaces for epidural placement. Patients are often nervous and scared when thinking about getting an epidural so the EPD really offers a comfortable and stable platform for the patient to lean on and hold. This makes it a valuable tool for hospitals and clinics to improve patient safety during epidural injections and spinal blocks. The Epidural Positioning Chair is used in Labor and Delivery departments and surgical areas because it’s effective at improving safety while still being comfortable.

4) Why Are Nurses at Risk of Injury During This Procedure, And How Does the Epidural Positioning Benefit Them Specifically?
Nurses are at risk of injury during this procedure because they are typically handling patients manually and having to position the patient in a side lying position or manually positioning a patient at the edge of the bed while supporting the patient as they lean on pillows stacked on an unstable bedside table. The nurse would also be likely holding the stool in place to support the patients feet with his/her own foot. What happens when a patient suddenly moves or passes out and falls to the floor? The nurse often has to catch the falling patient or apply counterpressure to help the patient maintain the correct body position. This manual handling process is outdated and unsafe. The EPD solves all of these issues.


Using the Epidural Positioning Device to improve safety and comfort for patients getting an epidural injection or spinal block is vital in preventing injury to nurses and patients. The epidural device helps reduce the risk of severe complications during these procedures by providing a comfortable and safe way to position patients. Using the device to improve safety and comfort for patients getting an epidural injection or spinal block is vital in preventing injury to nurses and patients. The device helps to reduce the risk of serious complications during these procedures by providing a comfortable and safe way to position patients. Proper positioning is important because it can help reduce the risk of complications and to ensure optimal patient outcomes. An epidural positioning device is considered an essential piece of equipment in Labor and Delivery Unit and surgery departments today.

Improve patient safety with EPD
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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 Devices Improves Safety
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Epidural Pain Relief and Positioning

Epidural Pain Relief and patient positioning occurs in both the hospital and outpatient settings. Epidurals are regional pain analgesics commonly administered before intense pain during labor, surgical procedures, or for chronic pain in the back and neck. Epidural anesthesia blocks pain in an area of the body. Epidurals provide labor pain relief rather than anesthesia, which is total lack of feeling. Proper patient positioning is important to ensure the correct location for the epidural placement but ensuring healthcare worker safety is equally important.

Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are a treatment for lower back pain and leg pain. For decades, ESIs have been considered a central component of nonsurgical approaches to sciatica and lower back pain. Epidurals and epidural steroid injections involve injecting a local anesthetic (and a steroid medication in the case of ESIs) directly into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Today, much emphasis is placed on the positioning of the patient for receiving epidural pain relief for reasons of safety, for both the patient and the medical staff. Being able to quickly and comfortably administer an epidural decreases risks to all involved. To aid in this, the epidural positioning chair (EPD), commonly known as the epidural positioning device (EPD), or epidural chair, has become a valuable piece of equipment. The EPC is used in labor and delivery departments and in surgical areas to position the patient properly for the epidural procedure. The mobile positioning chair is lightweight, easy to move, and locks into place to allow for easier and safer administration of epidural pain relief.

Epidural Pain Relief, Positioning a Patient

Making sure a patient is in the right position can sometimes prove difficult. For instance, a patient’s range of motion may be limited because of pregnancy or injury. A patient’s level of distraction because of pain may also impede proper positioning administration of the epidural.

Positioning a patient for an epidural is an important consideration, as risks exist for the patient and for the medical staff administering the medicine. Throughout history, different positions have been used, and more recently, specific positions are used for specific bodily locations of epidural administration.

The various positions used usually depend on the condition of the patient. Pregnant women, for instance, are often put into a Sims position (left lateral decubitus, left leg straight, right leg bent), but it may be done with the patient sitting with their back arched, often described as an “angry cat” or “boiled shrimp” position. An epidural chair makes properly positioning patients very simple.

Epidural Pain Relief Injection and Risks to the Patient

For the patient, risks include low blood pressure in 10-20% of patients. There is a 1% risk of intravascular injection, puncture in spinal cord, and failure to block. There is less than 1% risk of infection, headache, bleeding, and allergic reaction. Patients are monitored closely during and after epidural placement, especially delivering. As mentioned, administering an epidural safely and comfortably is of utmost importance in reducing risk, and the EPD has come to play a significant role in this.

Healthcare Worker Safety

Providing epidural pain relief has improved healthcare worker safety as well. Often, a professional (or multiple professionals) are holding a patient in place manually. Pain during labor or from injury may cause a patient to unexpectedly move while receiving an epidural. Or, having an adverse reaction to the epidural may cause the patient to move. Any patient motion requires staff reaction and counter, creating musculoskeletal strain for the professional. The pushing, pulling, tugging, lifting and catching required of the healthcare worker can lead to strain injury instantaneously or over time. Very often, healthcare workers use nearby non-medical equipment like stools chairs and tables when trying to make the patient ready and as comfortable as possible for the injection. These stools, tables, and chairs often have rollers, which then require the healthcare worker to counter any movement with adverse pressure or motion. The necessity of this practice, and the risk of injury that comes with it, while being in common practical use all over the world, has been all but eliminated with the EPD or Epidural Chair. Using the EPD eliminates the physical strain on the professional, thereby eliminating much of the risk to healthcare workers associated with administration of epidurals.

Having the patient in the correct position with an epidural positioning device makes quick and safe epidural administration possible with fewer staff members. By reducing manual patient handling the EPD is a simple yet highly effective device that reduces risks for both patients and healthcare staff.

Epidural Chair improves Staff Safety
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Epidural Pain Relief and the EPD

Epidural anesthesia blocks pain sensation in a given region of the body and provides analgesia. The EPD improves safety for both staff and patients and increases and comfort for patients. An Epidural blocks impulses from lower spinal segments leading to reduced pain sensation in the lower part of the body. Most epidural pain relief medications are local anesthetics and are administered in combination with opioids like fentanyl.

How Epidural Pain Relief Works?

Local anesthetics are directed into the epidural space. EPD is mainly used during childbirth, management of chronic sciatica and back pain. Specialists will optimize the care to suit the needs of a particular patient.

The spinal cord carries electrical impulses between nerves and the brain. Therefore, injection of local anesthetics into the epidural space of the lower back blocks pain sensation on the leg and pelvic area.

Your anesthetist can assess the amount of feeling lost based on the type and concentration of the administered medications. However, before the effect wears off, you may not move your legs or hands.

The passing of urine will also be a challenge because the sensation that the bladder is full is absent. However, you will have a catheter to help you pass urine while on the epidural.

Preparing for the Procedure

The anesthetist will guide you on how to prepare for an epidural. It is contraindicated in patients with a history of blood clots or conditions affecting the lower back and nervous system. In addition, it is vital to tell the anesthetist if you are on blood thinners like clopidogrel, warfarin, and aspirin. During the process, you may remain awake, but you can also receive a sedative to help you relax.

Epidurals are effective in managing pain during labor. First, the anesthetist will request the patients to lie on their sides for proper medication administration, with their knees drawn up to their tummies and their chin tucked in. The patient can also sit on the bed while leaning forward. All these positions open up the vertebral space.

Epidural Pain Relief and Patient Safety

When it comes to the safe positioning of the patient and reducing risks of injuries to the caregivers like nurses, an epidural positioning device is vital. It reduces medical staff injuries and keeps patients safe. The device is the most widely employed in positioning for a variety of procedures.

The epidural chair is an example of a manual positioning device. It involves the medical staff placing the patient’s feet on the chair first and then inserting pillows underneath the upper body. Patients support their weight on the cushions.

The epidural chair has a solid foundation that can’t move easily. Instead, it provides an adjustable foot platform and locks into position to secure every patient for the procedure.

The device encourages lumbar, thoracic, and cervical flexion. In addition, it helps in epidural pain relief for pain during labor.

Benefits of Epidural Positioning Device

Some of the benefits associated with the device over the manual EPD include:

1. Lowers Risk of Complications

There is an increased risk of complexities because of the unique taxing nature of positioning in epidural procedures and spinal blocks. In the absence of a reliable and ergonomic solution like an epidural positioning device, health workers may have to use their bodies in positioning the patients and ensuring that they are secure.

The latter may cause physical injuries to the health care worker because the patient may become violent due to the intense pain. On the other hand, patients rely on pillows, but they voluntarily move when the pain becomes severe. Hence, compromising the process.

2. Eliminates Risk of Injury

Whether in preoperative settings, operating rooms, or other areas in the hospital, caregivers and nurses are having to manually position the patients for the epidural procedure. It involves the caregiver holding the stool, the table, and the patient using their body during the procedure.

The aim is to reduce movements from patients that may cause injuries. However, the act puts the assistant or nurse in a risky situation and may cause musculoskeletal injuries. Studies have revealed that awkward static holds carried out regularly cause musculoskeletal disorders. Nurses are the number one at risk profession for a MSDO and the EPD is a simple yet highly effective solution to reduce this risk.

The effects of an epidural pain relief wear off within two hours. You will be free of drowsiness associated with general anesthetics.

Reduce Risk Of Injury with the SPH Medical EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Epidural or Spinal Block

Epidural Positioning Device Implementation to Improve Patient Outcomes and Healthcare Worker Safety

In the realm of anesthesia, there are many methods to help reduce a patient’s pain and suffering during operations or procedures. It takes an entire team of healthcare professionals to deliver safe and effective anesthesia that produces positive patient outcomes. One of the most common anesthesia types includes epidural anesthesia or spinal block, which is seen in the operating room and the labor and delivery room. The delivery of anesthesia in these modalities is much more technical and requires more staffing in general than general anesthesia. They need the anesthetist and supportive staff to be positioned in respect to the patient to deliver the medication effectively and safely. Patients also understand that they play a role during the anesthesia and must remain completely still during the procedure. The patient’s body habitus also plays a role in how well the patient and supporting staff can get the patient in the correct position.

Epidural anesthesia delivers medication into the area that lies above the epidural sac. Understanding the basic anatomy of the spinal cord and the vertebral column can help understand the positioning of a patient when it comes to the delivery of anesthesia. The epidural sac covers the spinal cord and creates a space where cerebrospinal fluid can nourish and cushion the spinal cord. The vertebrae that help protect the spinal cord have spinous processes that project posteriorly that protect and allow for mobility of the spine. When a patient is flexed, the spinous process angle between each other opens and exposes the spinal cord. The anesthetist can use this position to allow direct access to the Dural sac since the spinous process will be angled up and away in a flexed position.

The spinal cord and vertebral column’s anatomy and function are why epidural anesthesia requires the patient to be in a flexed-knee-to-chest position. The anesthetist will then have access to the spine to deliver the medication at the proper location safely. Often the additional staff is needed to help position the patient. The team who help position the patient can often find themselves in non-ergonomic positions to keep the patient from moving and allowing safe delivery of medication. An often-overlooked factor of patient safety and outcomes is the ergonomics of the staff that are included in procedures. Staff who must repeatedly put their bodies in awkward anatomical positions can put themselves at risk for a musculoskeletal injury. This can affect patient outcomes down the road if staff are not able to perform functions necessary for their task because of a musculoskeletal disorder.

A lot of research is being invested in staff ergonomics and safety to aid in improving patient outcomes. With respect to epidurals and similar procedures requiring patient positioning, an Epidural Positioner Device, or EPD, has been developed to provide safety to both the patient and the healthcare staff. Epidural positioning device benefits patient outcomes by allowing for safe and fast positioning of the patient. It can also be adjusted with respect to the patient’s body habitus. From the user standpoint, there are less movement and fewer complications with regards to catheter placement. The Epidural Positioner can also be used in settings that require the patient to be in a similar position, such as a Spinal Block. In a Spinal Block, the medication is administered within the Dural sac, whereas in an epidural, the medicine is administered just above the Dural sac. Both procedures require the patient to be in the same position, which allows the epidural positioning to be used in either setting.

The Epidural or Spinal Block and Thoracentesis

The Epidural Positioner has also found its way into Thoracentesis. This is a procedure where fluid from the thoracic is removed either for therapeutics or diagnostic studies. Allowing the patient to be placed in a less mobile position will enable the proceduralist to safely perform the Thoracentesis without injury to vital structures such as the lung. This device shows its promising advancement in patient outcomes when it comes to improving staff ergonomics and safety. It takes an entire medical team to take care of a patient. It is of utmost importance for any organization to seriously take the safety and health of each of its staff members.

Considering the EPD implementation, patient outcomes can be improved and allow for procedures to be carried out safely, effectively, and rapidly to help reduce negative outcomes and financial burdens to the healthcare system. In the realm of epidural or spinal block, pain and suffering can be reduced in the labor and delivery floor and in the operating suite. In diagnostic procedures like the spinal tap, a safer collection of specimens can be carried out while decreasing the risk of harming the patient during studies. In Thoracentesis, healthcare professionals can perform therapeutic procedures at a more effective and expedited timeline requiring less staff to hold the patient. Overall, the EPD or devices like it may find their way into other procedures to help decrease the risk of Musculoskeletal disorders and injuries to users and provide safe and effective healthcare.

The SPH Medical EPD improves patient safety
CategoriesPatient Handling

Epidural Trends and the Epidural Chair

Current Epidural Trends in Hospitals and the Epidural Chair

Now more than ever in Labor and Delivery departments and in General Surgery areas the trend is to utilize the Epidural Chair to improve patient comfort and safety.  Equally important is the opportunity to improve safety for nursing and Anesthesia staff.  It is well known that the experience of childbirth is extremely painful for the mother. Modern medicine has advanced to provide mothers with epidural anesthesia for pain during labor. Epidural pain relief can make the child birthing experience less traumatic and exhausting for the mom. Epidural anesthesia depends on the technical abilities of the anesthetist. This requires assessing the risks that are present for the patient, positioning the patient for safe administration, and gathering the necessary staff to help with positioning. An often overlooked factor in patient outcomes in regard to pain relief is the ergonomics that nurses must respect during patient positioning to prevent themselves from developing musculoskeletal injury from repetitive patient positioning over their career. We will discuss these points in this article.

Proper positioning of the patient for safe and effective epidural pain relief can be understood with respect to the anatomy of the spinal column. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebral column. When a patient flexes their core, the posterior vertebral column spinal processes spread apart, allowing direct access to the dural sac that covers the spinal cord for anesthesia administration. Often, the nursing staff must help the patient remain in a still-flexed position to allow for safe administration. Depending on the patient’s body habitus, it can be difficult for nursing staff to hold the patient without compromising their own ergonomics. Patient positioning during administration of spinal anesthesia is very important.  EPD, commonly known as an epidural chair, has been implemented to help place patients flexed, allowing for effective anesthesia delivery.  The epidural positioning chair also doesn’t require nursing staff to put their bodies in stressful contortions, minimizing musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.

Epidural pain relief is often significant to some expecting moms as they fear the pain during labor. Although it is a commonly performed procedure, epidural anesthesia does not come without its risk. Because the medication is being delivered near the dural sac and spinal cord, there is a risk of medication being administered within the dural sac. Risks seen during epidural anesthesia include a severe drop in blood pressure. Other side effects include difficulty urinating, nerve damage, nausea, vomiting, and infection.

Prevent Injury to the Spinal Cord

Injury to the spinal cord can also occur, with paralysis being a possible outcome. It is essential to understand these risks to help minimize negative outcomes. The Epidural chair helps decrease this risk by allowing the patient to be put in a fixed position that won’t disturb the anesthetist. Safety and reliability are of utmost importance in healthcare, and the EPD can provide proper positioning with adjustments in respect to the patient’s body habitus. Although there are many factors that go into the safe delivery of anesthesia, the utilization of an epidural chair can help mitigate the risk with respect to the proper positioning of the patient.

EPD can be used outside of the labor and delivery floor. With respect to spinal blocks and spinal taps, the chair is used because both procedures require the exact positioning. Spinal taps come with similar risks and can be mitigated similarly with the use of the chair. Often time patients who may need a spinal tap for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes must have a risk assessment which includes the ability to position the patient properly. In the pediatric population, a chair is not as helpful as children often require some form of sedation to help with patient positioning because of their age. In the adult population where body habitus is varied, an EPD chair that can be adjusted to reproduce the same position can help improve patient outcomes.

The Epidural Anesthesia

Epidural anesthesia can also be used to supplement general anesthesia for surgery and to help with pain alleviation during post-operative recovery. Surgeries that occur in the lower extremities can often be excruciating in the post-operative recovery period. Supplemental pain relief can help the patient feel more comfortable, and reduced pain perception can help a patient recover faster by complying with post-operative therapy. The utilization of an Epidural Positioning Device can help mitigate a safe and quick administration of a spinal block even in spite of staff not being able to be present for patient positioning. This kind of anesthesia helps reduce the usage of opioids for patients who refuse or patients with a history of opioid abuse.

Overall The utilization of an epidural positioning chair can help deliver safe and reliable anesthesia while reducing the risks of the procedure, the requirement of staffing, and the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. This chair can be utilized in similar procedures such as the spinal tap or even thoracentesis, which shows promising application outside of just epidural anesthesia. This trend to improve patient and staff safety using the EPD is increasing. Word is spreading in clinical circles that the simplicity and ease of use of the EPD drives compliance and therefore reduces risk, a very positive trend indeed.


Comparing Three Different Modified Sitting Positions for Ease of Spinal Needle Insertion in Patients Undergoing Spinal Anesthesia by Sussan Soltani Mohammadi, Mohammadreza Piri, and Alireza Khajehnasiri 2017

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