Dr. Donald Corenman is a spine surgeon at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado and Eric Strauch is a Physician Assistant with Dr. Corenman. Together, they designed the Sterile-Z patient drape to increase safety and efficiency and to protect a patient during 3-D radiographic spine surgery. The entire draping process is less than 30 seconds.

A surgical site infection in a spine patient is potentially catastrophic not only for the morbidity of the patient, but also the cost for the hospital. It has been estimated that surgical site infections can cost a hospital $40,000 to $60,000 per infection and insurance companies now are less likely to pay for surgical site infection. The Sterile-Z patient drape helps increase safety and efficiency.

To date, there are two other methods out there and both of them lend to contamination. There is the drape the actually fits over the entire O-Arm and there are multiple times when un-sterile edges come close to, if not in contact with the patient or the frame. The other method is a simple device that splits apart with two unsterile edges that graze across the patient. In both cases, the potential for contamination is high. These methods also don’t have the ability to wrap around the patient to protect from the inferior products below.

The Z-fold technology allows the perforation to maintain a sterile zone. The drape system that covers the 3-D radiographic device, the navigation camera still needs to see and have a reference point on the 3-D radiographic device. With the Sterile-Z patient drape there is a clear film that covers that as well.

The Sterile-Z patient drape increases efficiency and safety for the patient and decrease cost for hospitals.

The Sterile-Z patient drape is a patient cover designed to protect the sterile field of your intraoperative patients prior to introducing them into a three-dimensional fluoroscopic imaging device. The Sterile-Z patient drape helps protect the patient from contamination during imaging without compromising visualization. It also protects the patient by wrapping the neuromonitor wires and foley catheters under the table.

The Sterile-Z patient drape can be applied by two sterile handlers and one non-sterile handler in less than 30 seconds. To begin, place the Sterile-Z patient drape over the patient. Open the cover to expose the directional and instructional labels as well as the tear tabs. Break the tear tabs and have each sterile handler unfold the drape over the length of the patient and then over the width of the patient. Position the Z-folds slightly off-center of the patient. Then, have the non-sterile handler pull the straps under the table inclosing the neuromonitor wires and foley tubes and fasten them to the nearside of the drape. Tightly wrap the straps, but take care to avoid breaking the position of the reference frame.

Put the drape snug against the reference balls as this will enhance the vision of the reference frame. When ready for imaging, introduce the patient into the imaging field. When ready to dispose of the drape have the non-sterile handlers place their hands on the handles and pull to allow the drape to separate. Then simply let the sterile drape fall away from the patient and then dispose. This method lets the doctors continue surgery without delay.

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