Studies show that nerve injury is seen in up to 26% of surgical cases depending upon the type of surgery. This can occur for a variety of reasons including direct trauma, wound retraction as well as the position of the patient during the surgery. The latter is sometimes referred to as Positioning Related Nerve Injury or Positioning Effect (“PE”). These injuries can result in numbness, tingling or paralysis which can persist.
Injuries can occur due to three types of insult to nerves:
- Compression of the nerves
- Decrease in blood supply to the nerves
- Stretching of the nerves
PE is more likely when the body is in certain positions for an extended period of time with the body’s weight compressing or stretching nerves or blood vessels. An example of PE is when fall asleep with your legs crossed and you wake from sleep with a foot that is “dead” or “asleep.” Fortunately, while sleeping, the brain still monitors nerve function and wakes you up before permanent damage occurs. You reposition your legs and function is restored in minutes. When under anesthesia, however, your brain can’t wake you up and damage can continue and become permanent.
Retraction related injuries can be the result of either stretching or compression
SafeOp’s device will help caregivers identify nerve injury before permanent damage occurs, enabling them to adjust patient positioning or retraction and restore function.