Adverse Events Associated With Disparity Between Patients' BMI and Operating Table Size-A Need for Improved Surgical Innovations.

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The American Surgeon


body mass index, operating room table, adverse events, patient safety




BACKGROUND: The lack of proper equipment to accommodate patients with high BMI can jeopardize the safety of the patients and medical staff. In this review, we aim to discuss the availability of obesity accommodations in the operating room, along with its impact, implications, and future recommendations.

METHODS: Four databases were searched for articles pertaining to surgical table dimensions and the implications for safety, with a special focus on patients with larger BMIs. Articles were separated into 4 categories: Existing OR Table Options, Safety Implications for Patients, Reported Adverse Events Associated with Operating Table Inadequacy, and Safety Implications for Medical Staff.

RESULTS: A total of 18 articles and documents were included in this review. Most of the literature that discusses surgical tables with higher weight capacity is specific only to weight loss surgeries. Operating table dimensions have changed little in the past 100 years and standard operating tables have weight limits of 500 pounds. Several case reports underline the hazards of inadequately sized surgical tables.

CONCLUSIONS: This review demonstrates that a lack of proper equipment, such as surgical tables with adequate width and weight limits, can be a major contributor to the endangerment of bariatric surgical patients and the medical professionals who care for them. Further research and surgical innovation may be required to develop superior operating tables to address the unique concerns of this patient populations.



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