Archive July 2016 XVII, No. 7

Thinking of Buying ... Floor Suction Devices

Contain spilled fluids to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall injuries.

David Bernard, Senior Associate Editor

BIO

A wet OR floor is an accident waiting to happen, especially when you combine slippery conditions with OR team members hurrying through a wilderness of cords and cables.

Stationing suction-powered devices or absorbent mats underfoot to collect and contain spilled fluids as quickly as possible can help your staff stay ahead of the runoff that would otherwise puddle on the floor. In addition to providing a dry place to stand, some products also offer anti-fatigue benefits for long cases. OSHA dictates that you keep workroom floors as clean and dry as possible, but even without that regulation it's clear that floor-based fluid management improves the OR environment.

Here's a quick look at why it pays to collect fluid from the ground up and 6 floor suction devices that can help you get it done.

  • A more economical option than linens. Buying fluid management products for your ORs may represent more of a direct cost than the traditional method of scattering towels, blankets or bed sheets on wet floors during and after procedures. If your facility sees even a moderate volume of high-fluid cases, though, be sure to look at the big picture and ask the following questions.

How well do hospital linens absorb fluid waste? Do they reduce the amount of mopping that needs to be done during room turnover? How easy is gathering and removing them after a case? Do they put staff at risk of exposure to potentially infectious materials? Does carrying heavy, sodden linens contaminate other environments or put staff at risk of ergonomic injury? Do they substantially add to your laundry service costs?

  • Less mopping, faster turnovers. When you strategically place floor-based fluid collectors beneath an OR table, they can reduce the mess that must be mopped up and contribute to speedier room turnover times.

But which option would be most effective in your OR? The question of reusable versus single-use devices comes down to the cost, sustainability and cleaning requirements of each. Many users also advise exploring such practical concerns as each device's ease of setup, takedown and disposal; ability to be repositioned while in use; the sound it generates while in operation, and whether it impedes equipment wheels or foot traffic. OSM

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