Almost two decades ago a leading anesthesiologist developed the first Epidural Positioning Device to help improve patient and staff safety. And now the EPD is the gold standard of positioning devices for use by hospital and surgical staff around the world.
Manual patient handling puts our nursing staff at risk of musculoskeletal injuries. In the peri-operative areas of Pre-Op, OR, L&D, L&D Or, and throughout the hospital staff are holding patients in position during epidural and spinal block placements. The most common scenario we hear is this: The patient is sitting at bedside and a movable stool on wheels is moved over to the patient so their feet can rest on the stool. The nurse brings a bedside table (that doesn’t lock) over to the patient and stacks it with pillows to have the patient lean over onto the table to create the “mad cat” flexed spine position. Or in some cases the patient is just leaning forward over a stack of pillows in front of them. The nurse then uses his or her knees or thighs to hold the footstool in place and somehow keep the patients upper body in a static position. The nurse or nurse assistant often has to hold the patient in position supporting some of their body weight to prevent any movement during needle placement. To complicate this situation, patients are nervous, unpredictable, often in pain, sometimes sedated, and may move suddenly putting the nurse at further risk. Leading hospital ergonomic teams have identified these prolonged static holds and counter pressure tasks as high risk and given their predictable daily routine have looked to redesign the process for Epidural and Spinal Block Placement to remove the manual patient handling components. Epidural Positioning Device was designed to solve these issues reducing risk to caregivers while increasing patient comfort and patient safety by creating an ideal position for needle placement.
Manual Patient Handling causes caregiver injuries even when “normal” patients are being handled manually. It is the cumulative nature of lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, catching, tugging, boosting, turning and transferring that causes micro tears in the vertebral discs and joints that over time lead to injury. We need to modify the way we handle patients to avoid manual handling at all costs especially when the task is predictable