Patient positioning is the practice of maintaining a patient’s body alignment during surgery, medical tests, and recovery time to increase comfort and prevent complications that can cause pain and injury. Positioning support pads and pillows are mainly used to keep the patient in a specific position, but most clinics and hospital facilities use multiple medical products to help improve patient comfort.
Types of Position Support Products
The rubberizing of support products ensures softness and comfort and offers other benefits such as protection from contamination. In all cases, position support pads should promote good posture and conform to the supported body part shape.
Some of the patient support pads manufactured or dip-coated at Midwest Rubber Company include:
- Medical pads and cushioning
- Armrests and headrests
- Hospital bed accessories
- Diagnostic equipment
- Gurneys and stretchers
The pads need to be firm enough to support the body part without causing unnecessary pressure, and large enough to maintain the support along the entire length of the body part. Pads should also have anti-bacterial surfaces that are easy to clean to protect the equipment against moisture and bodily secretions.
Using Rubber for Position Support Products
Each position support device requires a unique form and method of manufacture, but rubberizing provides additional benefits in all cases. These include:
Polyvinyl Coating (PVC)
Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC dipping solutions are often ideal for metal items such as hooks and clips to prevent the sound of them striking other metal instruments. Many support pads and other devices use hooks and clips to attach them to hospital beds, gurneys, and carts, and the metal-on-metal sounds would cause a disturbance in a quiet hospital environment.
PVC starts out as a powder, which is combined with a fluid to form a thick liquid. This mixture is then poured into a custom mold and placed in an oven. Once it cools, the rubber is smooth and tactile, and ready for use as a coating or for products such as medical tubing.
Urethane Foam Molding
This process is well-suited to creating comfortable, contoured cushions and other supports used in various medical situations. From the manufacture of cushioned calf rests for maternity delivery facilities to a footboard that supports a patient’s feet while lying on his back, urethane foam molding uses aluminum or flexible silicone forms to develop the required shape. The foam is inserted into the mold and allowed to solidify, after which we remove the product ready for finishing.
Safety is a primary concern in a medical environment. If there are exposed handles and grips on position support pads and other devices, they tend to get touched by many people every day. Ongoing cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize them can damage many surfaces, shortening the lifespan of expensive equipment.
By using antimicrobial additives in some of the materials, we can produce hermetically sealed items protected against damage or prevent bacteria from reproducing on the surfaces. This measure helps medical facilities safeguard staff and patients from contracting infections.
Position support pads and devices are essential equipment in medical care, and the use of rubber increases patient comfort and helps prevent contamination. For more information on manufacturing the rubber components you need for your specific treatment area, please contact us at 810.376.2085.