“Why bundle, when you can bump?”

More than a pithy maxim, the preceding query raises an important question for OR personnel and hospital administrators who are charged with ensuring that any material entering the sterile field during surgery needs to be as free from contaminates as possible in order to prevent surgical site infection.


Historically, cloth was the primary material of hospital sheets, towels and gowns used in surgical procedures. But cloth has several major drawbacks. Cloth material requires washing, mending, sterilizing and storing. Cloth also has to be watched for fraying and emitting foreign debris or lint into the sterile field that could contaminate the surgical site.

AORN guidelines point out that lint and debris can be carried on air currents throughout the operating room. Such microorganism contaminates can fall on any surface including floors, exposed skin of the surgical staff, and monitor screens to which bacteria can adhere. As OR staff move around the operating room, and equipment pieces are repositioned, the now-contaminated debris can be sent airborne again, potentially landing on surgical instruments, drapes, and gloves, or directly onto the open surgical wound itself.

If cloth drapes and gowns once presented a potential threat to patient safety, not to mention making extra work for hospital staff, and incurring no small cost for hospital administrators, why are cloth bundles still in use today when positioning patients for surgery? Because the use of cloth bundles is plainly problematic, the question remains: “Why bundle, when you can bump?”

The IMP Solution

Advancing beyond cloth bundling, Innovative Medical Products created the Universal SteriBump®, a contoured, polyurethane foam block that is latex-free with a closed cell geometry that significantly reduces foreign particulates. Protected by guaranteed sterile packaging, and ready to use for multiple applications, the SteriBump® is cost effective, guaranteeing product sterility, while providing the patient and the surgical team a physical platform that can securely elevate a patient’s limb in the sterile field when required.

The SteriBump® not only reduces the potential for foreign particulate to become airborne and enter a surgical site, but the IMP solution also offers a consistent size and stable density for a sterile platform that proves to be less costly and less labor-intensive than a handmade bundle. SteriBump’s® contoured cradle shape provides a more secure elevated positioning of the patient’s extremities in the sterile field, and its rectangular design provides a choice of multiple heights and angles for such procedures as extremity trauma, vascular surgery, shoulder abduction, lateral shoulder arthroscopy, carpal tunnel, and incision closure of total hip or total knee surgeries.

Using the SteriBump® is easier, faster and safer than bundling towels. Its single-use feature means there’s never a question of sterility, eliminating the possibility of cross contamination. Further, the polyurethane foam SteriBump® offers surgeons a more stable, rigid, positioning solution that will not shift or move during surgery as often happens with cloth bundling.

As one Central Sterile Services (CSS) administrator noted, “Our hospital purchased the Universal SteriBump® to replace our handmade ‘bundles’ for many of the same reasons that hospitals moved away from re-sterilizing cloth OR table drapes some years ago. The SteriBump® is consistent in size, shape and density unlike handmade ones that potentially fall apart.

“There is also a cost savings over bundles which need to be laundered and sterilized after each use. Inventory can be reduced by eliminating the lead-time necessary to make the bundles. Also, we like the SteriBump’s® contoured shape that can capture the patient’s limb and reduce its movement unlike our bundles, providing an excellent sterile platform for multiple surgical procedures.”

“Why bundle, when you can bump? That is a question perhaps all OR personnel and hospital administrators might consider,” said Earl Cole, Innovative Medical Products vice president. “From our viewpoint, it’s a simple matter of cost and time savings, not to mention making the patient more secure during surgery and with less chance of infection.”

SteriBump’s® ‘Companion’ Positioner: SuperBump™

A companion positioning solution to IMP’s SteriBump® is the SuperBump™, a guaranteed, sterile, weighted bump, employed when simplicity is all a surgical team needs for a knee procedure. Positioned on top of the OR table’s drapes at any location for knee flexion, the contoured, latex-free, foam-based SuperBump™ cradles the leg during closure. The SuperBump™ is packaged sterile and accepts two, five-pound stainless steel weights to anchor the IMP positioner in place during the surgical procedure. The steel weights also come with a sterilization case for autoclaving and storage.

Conclusion

Surgical site infection is one of the most common hospital-acquired complications in surgical patients leading to longer hospital stays, which, in turn, results in higher inpatient costs. Implementing solutions that help prevent infection improves patient care while lowering the duration and cost of hospital stays in patients at risk.

“The bottom line,” notes IMP’s Earl Cole, “is that the SteriBump®, and the SuperBump™, are positioning solutions that can help reduce the occurrence of infection, save time and money, and increase patient care. Seems like that’s a good answer to the question, “Why bundle, when you can bump?”

For more information about the SteriBump® and SuperBump™, visit www.impmedical.com.