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!

Why Are Head & Neck Positioners Important In The OR?

Why are neck and head positioners important for patients to use while in the operating room? The number one reason for positioning a patients head with a positioner in this situation is safety purposes. Many patients need support of their head and neck  to relieve pressure while going in to surgery.

Below are a few examples of a few different kinds of head and neck positioners we offer.

  1. Head & Neck Support is an ideal positioner for general skull work. Dimensions are 6.5″ high x 10″ wide x 12″ long
  2. 5.5″ D Ring is a reusable foam positioner that provides a safe area for minimizing pressure points and nerve damage during surgery. Dimensions are 5.5″ diameter x 1.5″ thick with a 2″ hole in the center.
  3. Slotted Adult Head Positioner has a soft flexible coating to provide comfort to patients, with 1″ deep slots for tubing. Dimensions are 8.5″ x 8″ x 4″ thick at the highest point, 3″thick at center.
  4. Waters Positioner was especially designed for laminographs of the orbits and facial bones. Dimensions are 7.4″ high x 12.4″ wide x 8″ long.
  5. Concave Disc are ideal for general skull work in general positioning, CT scan, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasounds. Dimensions are 7″ in diameter and available in  1.5″ high, 2.5″ high and 3″ high discs.

Making sure patients are comfortable, safe and don’t develop pressure sores or pain. With our large selection of head and neck patient positioners, you’ll be able to find the support needed for your medical setting. Have any questions on this post? Let us know in the comment box below!