Archive November 2013 XIV, No. 11

What's New in Surgical Table Attachments?

Widening outpatient realm requires more versatility.

Lynne Ingle, RN, BS, MHA, CNOR

BIO

the right attachements BROAD SCOPE With the right attachments, a general OR table can be used for the increasingly wide range of procedures being performed in outpatient settings.

As more types of procedures migrate to outpatient settings, you might find your tables are limited in their abilities. Ever wish yours could do more? Surgical table attachments can bring versatility to your OR, letting your table host new procedures and adapt to new approaches. Here's a look at some innovative accessories to consider.

No more arm tucks
Adjustable arm supports might not seem like an essential, but they can help to prevent minor inconveniences and major complications.

To get as close as possible to patients during procedures, surgeons have traditionally taken the patient's arm off of the armboard once the IV's been started and tucked it beneath the drawsheet in order to improve accessibility. This practice, however, can lead to problems — potentially serious ones — if complications arise and anesthesia providers have to crawl under the sheet and find the IV. Depending on the patient's positioning, tucking the arm might also result in pressure injuries to skin or musculoskeletal structure. As a result, AORN and other authorities are recommending an end to the practice of tucking arms beside the table.

One solution: Trumpf's universal arm supports can be clamped onto the side rails of virtually any table. Once attached, it can be adjusted quickly and easily into almost any position by releasing 2 ball joints with a hand wheel. You can then shift it to support arms in prone, supine and lateral positions, as well as over and under a patient's head.

SECURE HOLD

surgical table attachments STAY PUT The Hug-U-Vac (above) conforms to the contours of the body, supporting patients up to 500 pounds. Universal arm supports (below) can support arms in many positions.

Uphill battles
The advent of robotics in outpatient surgery, along with the prevalence of gynecological, urological, colorectal and cholecystectomy surgeries, means patients are spending more time in the Trendelenburg position, which can present a range of positioning challenges and hazards.

You'll want to avoid, for example, discharging your patients with — or having them discover later — the "burns" that result from sliding skin and the shear force created when patients are pulled up or down with sheets. Not only do they look as bad as electrocautery burns, but also they can increase and prolong post-op pain.

Robotics presents some ghastly technological hazards. As one manufacturer puts it, "the robot is not programmed to compensate for changes in patient location on the OR table. When a patient slides 'just a little bit,' the arms/trocars of the robot will begin to assume the primary role for restraining the patient."

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