A world leader in the manufacturing and marketing of medical devices, STERIS Corporation (Mentor, OH) offers a number of general surgery and specialty tables that are rated to accommodate the greater weight of bariatric patients. Included in their extensive product line is the Cmax General Surgical Table. The Cmax boasts a 1100-pound weight capacity and an 18-inch longitudinal slide that provides full body C-arm access without having to reverse patient orientation on the table.
To further serve the positioning needs of surgeons catering to the obese, the Bariatric Power-lift Stirrups offer the versatility of a booted stirrup while supporting patients weighing up to 800 pounds. STERIS also offers bariatric reverse Trendelenburg straps that are effective for posturing patients in severe reverse Trendelenburg position, and split-leg positioners that are effective in positioning even the largest patients for a broad range of MIS and open procedures. Education and staff in-service programs on proper techniques for posturing bariatric patients are also provided.
To assist in positioning obese patients during Total Hip Procedures, Innovative Medical Products (IMP) (Plainville, CT) offers a variety of positioning devices and systems. The MorphBoard Positioning System is ideal for multiple applications that require the patient to be positioned laterally and/or supine. It is comprised of lightweight, modular components that allow for customized patient positioning. Pegs of varying lengths can be fit into the MorphBoard’s center board providing both versatility and a better fit for secure positioning. To accommodate bariatric patients, and even allow them to fit on a standard OR table, the center board can rotate from 20 inches to 30 inches wide.
Xodus Medical, Inc. (New Kensington, PA) is introducing a bariatric line of foam positioning products. These positioners feature wider and thicker foam, enabling the weight of larger patients to be distributed more evenly, reducing the risk of nerve damage. The high density foam construction of these products provide both consistent support and body alignment to ensure proper circulation is maintained throughout surgical procedures. Plus, the utilization of Visco elastic memory foam for the headrests provides a more comfortable solution for patient support. A variety of designs are available to provide maximum exposure to the operative site.
Unique to the David Scott product line is the Bariatric Vacuum-Pac BeanBag positioner. The 46-inch by 46-inch bean bag is constructed with a durable black urethane film and features a U-shaped shoulder cutout. Easily attached to a suction line, a simple push-button release mechanism returns the bean bag to its original shape. For added convenience, the proprietary valve system on the Bariatric BeanBag Positioner is replaceable if compromised, which can save hundreds in replacement costs.
A major global provider of surgical tables and an extensive array of other medical devices that is currently catering to the bariatric market is Skytron (Grand Rapids, MI). With a number of surgical table rated with weight capacities well in excess of 700 pounds, Skytron can assist ORs in meeting nearly every bariatric need. Their Hercules 6700B Surgical Table provides powerful 1200-pound lift and full articulation of 1000 pounds, as well as full body imaging capability for the most advanced general purpose and bariatric procedures. These features effectively reduce the need for multiple support accessories and optimize the ease of patient set-ups. The Hercules 6700B also offers 210-degree top rotation, a low table height of just 23 inches and 30 degrees of patient articulation with full table functions. A full line general purpose and bariatric table accessories is also available.
Action Products (Hagerstown, MD) offers a myriad of products that are suitable for use with obese surgical patients. Assorted positioners, pads and heavy duty O.R. table replacement mattresses are just some of the examples of the products that can assist in the effective handling and positioning of very heavy patients. All of these positioning products can be utilized in a variety of surgical procedures depending on the needs of the surgical team.
Action® positioners can assist in the positioning requirements of the OR and offer support to the heavy patient without bottoming out like some foam products. The pressure relieving OR table mattress upgrade can reduce the risk of injury by providing the support surface needed for very heavy patients.
And once again, this is the very root of the problem. Due to their excessive weight, width and overall size, obese patient are at higher risk of complications from many common problems in the healthcare setting. The risk of injury to a bariatric patient in transport, transfer and positioning in the OR and throughout the hospital is far greater than that experienced by patients of normal size. Rolling a patient of moderate build into the lateral position may be nothing more than in inconvenience for the patient and staff, but for an obese person, the risk of falling or being injured in the move or in the final position itself is a serious concern.
Sadly, as the percentage of the adult population that is overweight and obese continues to increase, these problems are only going to become more prevalent. While there are currently no bariatric patient transfer or positioning systems currently on the market that meet all the needs of both the patient and the staff, there are a number of companies and medical centers that are researching common problems in hopes of finding efficient and effective solutions. Until those solutions are discovered, though, the bariatric patient positioning aids currently available provide surgeons and healthcare workers with definite advantage. After all, any step toward the safer handling and positioning of patients is a step in the right direction.