Each year the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) approaches the Friend’s Council with a list of equipment requirements from which the council can choose to provide support with funds raised during the year. One such item presented recently was new examination tables for all outpatient treatment areas.
When Council has selected items, Adrian Richards from Biomedical Engineering within the Hospital, then sources a supplier which can provide the most suitable items at the best price. When it came to examination tables the hospitals requirements included:
- A column rather than scissor style support and lifting mechanism to provide increased safety by reducing the risk of accidental entrapment in the scissor style of table
- The ability for the table to go as low as possible for ease of patient access. This often conflicts with the column style mechanism
- Adequate weight capacity and size of patient surface
- No pinch points to minimize chances of staff injury
- Effective manual release of backrest from elevated to flat position for resuscitation use. This must be fast acting, but also damped to avoid injury during release.
- Stable base to minimize risk of table tipping whilst patient is getting on and off
Adrian and his department evaluated various types of tables before working with Healthtec, a manufacturer in Queensland, via their Adelaide distributor, Electrical Table Solutions. Given the quantity of tables that the WCH were able to purchase via the Friends support, the company were prepared to modify their design and manufacture to the Hospital’s specification. By the third prototype a design was achieved which ticked all of the boxes and was approved by the WCH clinical, work health safety staff and Biomedical Engineering teams. They will now be the standard table in the hospital except where foot or calf supports are needed in gynae. Each table costs $4,000, which is very competitive, especially as it is a custom design. “We feel that it should now be standard around the country especially in paediatric facilities where the risk of injury via entrapment in the table mechanism is very real. The hospital has made a great leap forward in terms of safety, comfort and ease of use and now thanks to the Friends, has 20 of these tables in regular use across departments such as outpatients, cardiology, neurology and many wards” explained Adrian.
The Friends are extremely pleased to provide this type of support and fortunate to have Adrian’s expertise available for sourcing or in this case designing the most suitable option.
To assist Friends to continue this valuable support to the hospital donations can be made by clicking on donate.