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A look at an iPad in the operating room


iPads have made their way into the emergency department, the classroom, and patients' rooms. And now, apparently, they've finally pierced the sterile curtain and made their way into the operating room. Felasfa Wodajo, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, writes in the Journal of Surgical Radiology:

...generally speaking, the same features which make the iPad great for surfing the web, such as looking at images and viewing video, nicely translate into the operating room. Thus far, the most obvious use for me has been as a convenient way to easily access previous patient imaging. Additional potential assets of utilizing the iPad in the OR include the ability to review relevant anatomy at the point of care and enhancement to resident teaching.

Remarkably, Wodajo reports, the iPad works not only with gloved hands but also while inside an X-ray cassette sterile bag. I particularly liked the description of how the iPad was introduced into a sterile environment:

We found that a simple X ray cassette sterile bag, ubiquitous in the OR, holds an iPad comfortably. Once the iPad is inserted into the plastic bag by the circulating nurse, the top can be cut off, folded back and clamped with a hemostat...allowing the iPad to be introduced safely into the sterile field.

Also of interest in the article is a description of the various methods Wodajo uses to copy CT and MRI images to his iPad.

Previously: Stanford anesthesia lab launches educational iPad app, Associated Press looks at iPad use at Stanford's medical school, Stanford medical and Master of Medicine students will receive iPads, California hospital to test iPads for reading X-rays, vital signs, and An iPad rounds in the emergency department
Photo by Stanford EdTech

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