Whiteboard Wednesday: Surgeon Cooling Systems

How Do Surgeons Stay Cool In The Operating Room?

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday we talk about how surgeons stay cool in the operating room. A major concern for medical staff working in the OR is fatigue caused by overheating.  Overheating is caused by the multiple layers surgeons and staff must wear for protection. During certain procedures the surgeon’s body heat is intensified, the CoolVest can help keep the surgeon more comfortable and alert.

What Is A Surgeon Cooling System?

The CoolVest System is a unique and innovative personal cooling system that is designed to keep surgeons cool and focused while performing surgery. The Single-Surgeon CoolVest System allows you to regulate your personal comfort so that you won’t perspire, suffer fatigue or lose concentration. The surgeon cooling system includes a lightweight vest that is constructed of hospital-grade ventilated nylon for maximum cooling, a variable flow control with quick-dry disconnect, wheeled cart with handle for convenient portability, and a UL listed cooler with variable flow 110V pump.

How Does The Surgeon Cooling System Work?  

The CoolVest is worn over scrubs and under surgical gowns. The tubing connection is located at the lower back of the garment to help keep the water supply tubing from interfering with the sterile field. Cooling tubes are located in the front and back of the garment for maximum cooling. The patented, thin-walled, non-kink tubing has been specifically designed for use under lead aprons.

Setup

  1. To begin, the cooling unit is filled with a mixture of approximately one gallon of water and ice (preferably block ice) or cube ice to the top of the unit.
  2. After the unit has been properly filled, you will want to attach the 8 foot insulated supply hose (quick disconnect) to the CoolVest.
  3. Apply the protective hose cover and then attach the other end of the insulated supply hose to the cooling unit.
  4. Listen for an audible click from both quick disconnect hose connections to ensure that they are properly connected.

Operation

  1. Once the supply hose has been properly protected and connected, you will want to plug the cooling unit’s electrical adapter into a grounded 110V outlet.
  2. Turn the unit on using the green On/Off power switch.
  3. Allow the unit to cycle until L.E.D indicator on Speed Control is activated (30 second pump start delay).
  4. Press “Ice Cube” on the Speed Control display on the lid of the system to start unit at desired level. L.E.D. on display will light from left to right for increased water flow. (e.g. 20-40-60-80-100% levels)
  5. To increase flow rate, press the “Ice Cube” button again, as needed, to adjust to the desired flow rate.
  6. To reset Speed Control setting: press “Ice Cube” until the surgeon cooling system stops; restart by pressing “Ice Cube” again until correct setting is indicated.

Relief From Heat While Performing Surgery

Surgeons have been impacted by excessive heat surrounding their bodies due to stress and other environmental factors. For example, neurosurgeons are required to wear appropriate radiation protective shielding (lead aprons, thyroid collars, lead glasses) while using imaging technology to protect them from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The use of these protective garments in addition to scrubs and surgical gowns can significantly increase the surgeon’s body temperature during surgical procedures. The increase in temperature can result in the surgeon becoming fatigued and perspiring during long surgeries which can reduce their focus and attention, resulting in a decrease in their ability to perform their tasks at the desired level.

Share Your Experiences

Have you experienced an increase in your body temperature while performing complicated surgeries? Interested in learning more? Make sure to check out our post on the Active Cooling Vest System For Surgeons In The OR!

How To Choose The Right Exam Glove Dispenser

Choosing the right exam glove box dispenser is an important step in keeping your medical facility organized and promoting sound infection control practices. Exam glove box dispensers, sometimes referred to as PPE dispensers, eliminate the need to carry exam gloves in pockets, loose in drawers or on countertops. There are several factors to consider when selecting the right exam glove box dispenser. The type of facility and the amount of traffic your facility or department receives are two of the top considerations. The application and location of the dispenser will determine what size capacity is needed, the type of material, mounting orientation and any additional features.

Application

In high traffic locations such as emergency departments, operating rooms and trauma units where exam glove usage is critical, keeping a safe stocking level is crucial to staying compliant with infection control policies.  Selecting a quad or four box exam glove dispenser ensures that your department will always have sufficient inventory on hand at all times. Hospitals with a large number of staff will typically want to choose a quad or triple box exam glove dispenser that can accommodate multiple sizes.  For more specialized infection control applications, the Microban Anti-Microbial exam glove box holder is ideal for use in cleanrooms, hospitals, and microbiological work areas.

Capacity

There are four common exam glove box dispenser configurations: single, double, triple, and quad to meet your facilities needs. Some of the dispensers are designed to be dedicated exam glove box holders while other dispensers, like the FlexHold quad glove/mask holder have been designed to hold various types of PPE supply boxes. There are also specialty exam glove dispenser boxes that incorporate an additional pocket to hold hand sanitizer.

Material

Exam glove box dispensers are available in multiple substrates: acrylic, powder coated steel wire, epoxy coated steel wire, stainless steel, white steel, and high-impact polystyrene. Acrylic dispensers are clear and durable allowing for quick glove identification and easy refilling. The powder coated and epoxy coated wire dispensers feature a see-through construction which allows for easy identification of glove sizes. The durable stainless steel dispensers are long lasting and safe to clean with most bleach solutions. The powder coated steel dispensers offer a durable finish and an open design which allows for easy identification of glove sizes. Dispensers constructed from high impact polystyrene (HIPS) are durable and are resistant to harsh cleaning solutions.

Mounting Orientation

Exam glove box dispensers are available in multiple mounting configurations. Some dispensers are designed with two-way keyholes that allow for a dual mounting option so that the dispenser can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Dispensers may also come with suction cups that allow for mounting on glass surfaces. In addition to the wall mount option, many of the dispensers can also be placed on a counter or tabletop which will keep glove boxes organized and improve the utilization of exam gloves in your facility.

Features 

Unique features may be necessary depending on the specific location and application. Let’s take a look at some of the unique features available. There are Dispensers with locking lids which offer an added level of protection for safely and securely storing exam gloves while still allowing for easy access. Most acrylic dispensers have finger holes located on one end to make refilling quick and easy. There are several types of loading configurations including, top, side, and bottom loading. Some dispensers have spring loaded back flaps that keeps glove boxes up front and firmly in place, preventing smaller boxes from sliding. The FlexHold quad glove/mask holder has a unique bottom loading, adjustable clamp design that adjusts to a variety of different sized PPE boxes including, gloves, mop caps, ear defenders, face masks, and shoe covers.

There are a variety of exam glove dispensers to choose from and that is why it is important to take the criteria listed above into consideration before making your decision. Purchasing exam glove dispensers might seem like a fairly straightforward process but with the amount of options available it can make the decision more difficult then originally anticipated. If you may have any questions regarding how to choose the right exam glove please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us directly at info@universalmedicalinc.com.