Surgical Booms and Its Role in the Perioperative Workplace

In today’s Critical Care environment, efficient management of workflow and critical care equipment is essential. Surgical booms, also known as equipment columns or supply heads, provide nurse’s line of sight to the sterile field and the surgeon unrestricted access to the patient. Within the Operating Room (OR) the surgical boom is designed to centralize all surgical support equipment and utility services for OR staff. Surgical booms are generally used within healthcare facilities that need easy access to electrical power and audio-visual data services as well as medical gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Booms have become essential in keeping cords out of the way and reducing tripping hazards as well as providing shelving necessary to organize and centralize surgical equipment. 

Surgical Boom Configurations

Surgical Booms are often designed to be flexible and able to conform to various configurations depending on the space requirements, function and purpose. Tailored configurations are ideal when considering the location of the boom (i.e. Operating Rooms, Intensive Care Units). Medical gas outlets, electric outlets, adjustable shelving, mechanical brakes, and adjustable or fixed height arm systems are some of the features that may be found on a surgical boom. The features built into a boom are often customizable based on the facility’s needs.

Some of the most important variables to ensure proper integration of the surgical boom in a perioperative workplace are:

  • Adjustable height vs. fixed height arms – Adjustable height arms either have a spring or motorized vertical joint between the first and second arm. The adjustable height enables vertical adjustment of arm-mounted monitors or the ability to push utilities up out of the way when not in use.
  • Electromechanical vs. friction brakes – Surgical staff want a boom that will stay in place when in use but easily move when repositioning is needed. Electromechanical breaks are continuously applied to the boom joints to keep the arms in place except for when the activation button is pressed. Upon activation, the brakes are removed and the arms can be moved with little effort into the desired position. The arms can be held in place with simple friction brakes as well but considerable effort must be used to reposition the arms.
  • Electric and gas outlets – Location of electric and gas outlets on the boom allows for connection of surgical equipment directly to utilities on the boom to improve cord organization and keep cords off the floor.

Surgical Boom Accessories

  • Equipment shelves – Surgical equipment such as cameras, insufflations, and electrosurgical units (ESUs) are often placed on shelves attached to the surgical boom. The size and weight capacity of the shelves must be sufficient to support anticipated equipment requirements.
  • Equipment rails and rail mounted accessories – Some surgical equipment can be mounted to rails attached to the surgical boom.
  • Smoke evacuation system – Designed to remove or filter smoke and aerosols produced from a surgical site during electrosurgical and laser procedures.
  • IV support – The surgical boom should support mounting of various IV poles.
  • Monitor arms – Monitors are often mounted to the surgical boom to display patient information or video from within the operative site.
  • Organizational tools – Baskets, drawers and computer stations are just a few examples of organizational items that can be added to a surgical boom.

Surgical Boom Requirements

The installation of surgical booms requires significant planning and knowledge to meet structural requirements and ensure proper connection to electrical and gas utilities. Most surgical booms are installed as part of a renovation project or during construction of new surgical suites, and room layouts and other factors are considered when selecting surgical boom systems.

If you’re in need of a surgical boom, call ERD today! ERD biomedical service technicians are leading asset managers, ensuring you will have the right equipment, features and accessories you need for a successful integration.  

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