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Surgical Brainstorm

Tue, 03/30/2010 - 6:21am
Sheila Judge, Business Development Manager, Pressurecare for Trulife

What are some key considerations surgical professionals should make when purchasing patient positioning equipment?

March 30, 2010

1.Identify the high-risk areas.

Evaluating the patients current medical condition is vital as there are many intinsic factors (e.g. diet, age, medication) that can contribute to the onset of skin breakdown. The length of the surgery is also a major contributory factor and particular care must be taken when lifting or transferring the patient.

Evaluating the patients current medical condition is vital as there are many intinsic factors (e.g. diet, age, medication) that can contribute to the onset of skin breakdown. The length of the surgery is also a major contributory factor and particular care must be taken when lifting or transferring the patient.
Once you have a clear indication of how the patient is going to be positioned during surgery, the high-risk areas can be identified and a suitable product can be selected.

2. Select products to achieve optimal pressure redistribution on the high-risk area.

It is important to achieve pressure redistribution on the high-risk area so the pressure is not focused on any particular area. The circulating nurse should select positioning devices that maintain intraoperative positioning and minimize tissue damage by absorbing the pressure forces. There are many products on the market to select from, the majority of which are foam and gel based products.
Some products may have a pressure relief rating to assist health professionals to choose the correct pressure relieving products for their patient. These ratings or mappings are provided by the products supplier. The mapping or rating is intended as a guide only, and consultation with your perioperative team before purchasing is advised.

3. Educate the OR staff.

It is important that the OR staff have a good understanding of the threat to patients and the overall costs to the healthcare system associated with pressure related injuries. Medicare regulations introduced in 2008 mean that hospitals must now carry the financial burden of hospital acquired Pressure Sore and a high percentage of pressure sores begin in surgery. Pressure ulcers can be painful, difficult to treat and even life threatening in extreme cases. With a greater focus on healthcare expenditure, it is important to emphasize that the cost to treat a pressure ulcer is enormous compared to the cost to prevent it.

Reusable gel and foam positioning devices are an effective means of reducing costs and minimizing environmental waste

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