New Medical Table Reduces Time in Surgery

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In March 2009, I initiated a committee at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that included Ambulatory Services, Marketing, Community Education, the Center for Injury Research and Policy and Engineering. Our initiative is focused on preventing falls from infant car seats and from exam tables. Because of my position, I was aware that accidents had occurred involving an infant in a car seat falling from a high surface, such as a registration desk, or falling out of a car seat because the safety straps were not used. These accidents are infrequent, but very unsettling and they carry a high risk of injury including head trauma and arm and leg fractures. The infant can be a patient or a visitor and these falls can occur in any patient setting.

At first, I could not understand what had changed since I was a mother with young infants in the late 1960s. By listening to the members of the group, which unintentionally included young moms, I realized that the times have changed. Many more mothers work outside the home. As a result, from a very early age, more infants and toddlers are in a car each day. They are in infant car seats, originally intended to provide a safe place while traveling in a car. Properly positioned in the car, infant car seats have saved thousands of lives each year. The newest versions are marketed as hand-held baby carriers and can snap into strollers. Because they are so portable, parents may not think twice about carrying their child into the home in a car seat, then placing him or her on a counter or table while they take their jacket off, start to prepare dinner or answer the phone. In addition, it was also identified that infants/toddlers were at risk of falling from standard exam tables, which typically have no side rails.

Bottom-line, an infant in a car seat placed on a high surface or a young child on an exam table is at risk for an unintentional fall. Our “If it’s high-up, it’s high-risk” project is focused on educating parents and staff about the proper use of infant car seats and about safe practices when infants and young children are in them or are on exam tables. In the third quarter of 2009, we started a trial utilizing interventions involving graphics, scripting and parent and staff education at the Nationwide Children’s East Broad Street Urgent Care. Based on the initial trial, we are now reformatting some of our interventions and will be expanding it to include the Emergency Department, an off-site Primary Care and the Westerville and Dublin Urgent Care locations. Eventually, we want to offer a tool kit of interventions that can be adopted for use in an individual area.


Read more about medical exam tables


About brookemiggs

Brooke Miggs is a housewife, mother of 4 lovely children, passionate about novels, cooking and kids. The thing that her kids love the most is Disney Cartoons. This fact made her family visit all the Disney Resorts and create this website that offers information and great reviews about the Disney Land Hotels.
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