Title of Invention


Abstract A patient positioning support for an operating theatre table (2) has a saddle (18) for clamping to the rail (8) which runs alongside the edge of the table and a pair of articulating arms (26, 32) attached to the saddle for holding a pad in contact with a patients body or limb. The devices are mounted in pairs and are lockable in positions which overlie the tame or lie outboard of the table or below the table when not required. The locking action is by friction but radial arrays of teeth (66, 68), which are locked by hand screws (62), give the preferred locking action. Other items of equipment such as arm boards, neural head supports and stirrups can be substituted for the pad.
This invention concerns patient positioning supports for assisting the retention of patients on operating tables,
Part of the preparation for an operation is the transfer of the patient from a trolley to the table and the placement of the patient in a suitable position for the surgeon. Whatever

the body position of the patient for the surgery that is vertical, dorsal or lateral, the patient must be moved to the dorsal supine position if there is cardiac or pulmonary arrest. This change must occur as quickly as possible. Heavy patients require considerable effort to rearrange in this way. The sites of the support pads used to maintain the operating position must be changed also and if they are taken away to permit unimpeded resuscitation the patient sometimes falls off the table. Back injury is accordingly a hazard for theatre staff and slow adjustability of support pads is a hazard for patients.
Earlier proposals have suggested superstructure for the table beneath which the patient is arranged or brackets which are adjustable toward and away from the patient. In US6,622,324, a pair of concave pads are provided on the end of arms which extend from the side of the operating table. The arms are substantially central and place the pads on the patients hips. A further pair of arms extend from the head end of the table and the pads of these arms contact the patients shoulders so that during operations wherein the table tilts to bring the patients head lower than the patients feet to give the surgeon a view of the nose or throat, the supports are designed for this position. The supports are not part of a system which is capable of adjustment to help the surgeon arrange the torso and limbs of a patient for the variety of positions needed to give surgical access.
The patient support device which is known most widely in operating theatres is the Moore device shown in the accompanying drawings marked Prior Art. The device has a saddle mounted on the table rail which supports a fixed upright post from which an arm extends horizontally across the table mattress upon which the patient lies. The arm has a slide mount which supports an upright plate with apad for contacting the patients body. A pinch screw locks the slide in the desired site. The pads lie inboard of the table edge and if the patient's body is wider than the table, effective placement is impossible, that is with a pair of pads lying mutually opposite with the patients body therebetween, without lifting the patient clear of the arm in order to remove the arm and reverse it.
If the patient is in the lateral position for the operation, the devices are useful but if the patient should arrest, the Moore device is difficult to adjust. The mass of the.patient presses the arm into the mattress. If the pinch screw can be found beneath the drapes, the

pad is difficult to retract because the patients mass presses the slide into the mattress. A member of the surgical team must raise the patient to release the arm so that the pad can be moved to the edge of the table allowing the patient to be rolled facing upwards in the supine position. One or more team members must lean over the patient and try to lift the torso and it is during these episodes, or even routine changes requested by the surgeon, that back injuries to the team have occurred. Arrests are sudden and the team must move the patient quickly to the resuscitation position.
Some surgical procedures evolve energetic manipulation of the patients limbs. Joints receiving a metal prosthesis must withstand mallet blows. The pinch screw may loosen during such vigorous movement and allow the patient to move. The pad cannot be raised or angled to suit the body shape of the patient. The pad cannot be quickly adjusted to lie beyond the width of the operating table.
An equally serious drawback is lack of height adjustment. Despite large variation in body sizes, only two standard height pads are provided to all theatres. It is common for the pad to stand too high and to thereby impede the surgeon's access, This is especially so with operations on the shoulder.
Patients must lie on the steel arm for the duration of the operation and suffer needless bruising.
The pinch screw is small and cannot easily be located when covered by surgical drapes. If the surgical team member lifts the drapes to find it or the clamp loosens spontaneously and falls to the floor, the drapes too may slide off. The operation must then be interrupted while replacement sterile drapes are brought and applied. This is an unwelcome expense in theatre work.
The apparatus aspect of the invention provides a patient support device for an operating theatre table having an integral rail alongside at least part of the table edge, the device comprising means to engage the rail, support means pivotally connected at one end to the

rail and rail engagement means and at the opposite end to a pad for contacting the patients body, means for locking the supporting means in positions where the pad is overlying the table further from the table than the rail and below the table.
In a preferred embodiment, the support means is mounted on a permanent rail lying alongside the table edge. Operating tables normally have a perimeter rail already running parallel to the table perimeter and connected to it by spacers. The device can be secured at any position along the rail. Two pairs of devices are usually required for theatre work but more pairs can be mounted if necessary.
The rail engaging means for each device may be a saddle which engages the rail. The support itself may be a single arm. A pair of articulating arms are preferable because they allow height adjustment. The aim of the arrangement is to stow the support system out of the way of the theatre staff as far as possible by utilising the space below the table. This space is normally unoccupied except for the table pedestal and legs. The space alongside both edges and ends of the table must be vacant to ensure the theatre staff are able to stand as close as they wish to work on the patient. It is more useful if the adjustable support is made of two or more arms, one arm being pivoted to the slide, the other being pivoted to the pad and each arm being pivoted to the other. In this arrangement the slide moves to and fro on the rail and the entire linkage and pad rotate through 270° or so to lie underneath the table. More usually the device will hang vertically from the rail when not required. In this position a trolley or a table can be wheeled closer to the table than is possible with prior art devices.
The table is 400-500mm wide. Accordingly the movement axially across the width of the table is about 210mm from the edge of the table toward the centre longitudinal axis. This is achieved by changing the angle of articulation between the arms. For paediatric work the table may be smaller in size and the reach accordingly reduced.
The pivots may be of the type in which there are a pair of rings, each of which is connected to a pair of arms, the rings having inter-engageable teeth over 360° and a clamp which enables the user to clamp the rings at a desired angle of disposition.

The apparatus is made of sterilisable materials. The rails and linkages are made of metal alloys, preferably 316 stainless steel. The device may also be moulded in a polyamide such as nylon. The pads may be rectangular, convex-faced, gel-filled packs adhered to rectangular stainless steel plates. The shape and size of pads is conventional and may vary according to design, for example the plates and pads may be hexagonal.
As the aim of the apparatus is to move the pads across the table to where they are required and then to reverse them and park them clear of the table, persons skilled in the art will appreciate there are other geometries which will achieve the same purpose and we regard these as equivalents. For example, the pad may be supported by multiple crisscross expanding links which keep the path of the pad parallel to the table top and allow it to rise and fall.
The drawing marked Prior Art has already been described.
One embodiment is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which :-
Figure 1 is a general assembly including the operating table showing a typical working position for the devices and the stowed position.
Figure 2 is an end view of a patient supported in the lateral position.
Figure 3 is an end view of the devices in Figure 1 in the inner most working position.
Figure 4 is a side view of a pair of devices.
Figure 5 is a sectional view of the pad plate and its connection to the device.
Figure 6 is an exploded view of a single device.

Figure 7 is a side view of a variant device utilising ball clamps. DETAILED DESCRIPTION WITH RESPECT TO THE DRAWINGS
Referring now to Figures 1, 2, 3 and 6, the operating table 2 is covered with a table mattress 4 and has sides 6 from which rail 8 (one shown) projects. The table is supported on a pedestal 10 but otherwise the space beneath the table is unoccupied. The rail is spaced from the table by steel spacers 12. Both rail and operating table have two gaps in their length but these are only about 12mm wide. The table is covered by mattress 4. The table is commonly made of linked flat plates which articulate.
In Figure 1 the patient support device 16 is mounted on the LH rail 8 and the RH rail 8. The devices are shown supporting a patient P in the supine position. In Figure 2 the patient P is in the lateral position with one arm overlying the head. Here the devices give dorsal and ventral support and are much closer together.
In Figures 2, 3 and 4 the parts of the device 16 which are made of 316 stainless steel are here clearly seen. Saddle 18 has a body with a T-section slot 20 which is a slide fit on rail 8. The body is long enough to safely bridge the 12mm gaps. Lever clamp 22 allows saddle 18 to be locked to the rail. The saddle has an integral mounting ring 24 which mounts lower arm 26, Arm 26 has a ring 28 at the lower end and a ring 30 at its upper end. Upper ami 32 has a ring 34 at its lower end and a ring 36 at its upper end.
Pad Plate 38 has a front face 100 x 160mm with VELCRO™ strips 40 for securing a silicone-filled pad 42. The maximum reach of the two arms together across the table is shown in Figure 3 (266mm). The rear face of pad plate 38 carries spigot 44, best seen in Figure 5. Spigot 44 has a coarse exterior thread 46 and internal splines 48. Mounting ring 50 has a finger 52 with mating splines 54. Clamp nut 56 has a coarse interior thread 58 for clamping plate 38 to mounting ring 50 by reacting against shoulder 60. By separating splines 48 and 54, the plate can be rotated to a more useful position on the patients body or a more convenient position for the surgeon.
As the pad plate is detachable, the device can support a variety of ancillary equipment,

all of which has a splined spigot 44 to connect with finger 52.
In Figure 6 the exploded view allows the locking means to be seen. As all three locking means are identical, only one will be described.
Hand screw 62 engages threaded sleeve 64 to clamp together rings 30, 34, thereby causing toothed rings 66 and 68 to inter-engage. Rings 66,68 have flats 70 (one shown) which cause them to lock to the rings 30 and 34 respectively.
Hand screw compresses collar 72 against coil spring 74 which reacts against toothed ring 66 but if hand screw 62 is slack when arms 26 and 32 are rotated, the toothed rings slip over one another emitting a ratchet sound. Flats 76 on sleeve 64 allow the screw to tighten, forcing the toothed rings to lock together, fixing the angular dispositions of the arms, Coil spring 74 exerts continuous engagement pressure on the toothed rings,
In Figure 5, the teeth 78 which number 36, are of shallow V-section, having an apex angle of 120°. The crests of the teeth are slightly flattened to assist slippage. The teeth mate over their entire faces thereby reducing the load on each individual tooth.
In Figure 7, a variant allows the device to tilt in two directions at right angles while still allowing rotation toward and away from the table. Steel ball 82 is mounted on ring 28. Lower ami 26 is modified by substitution of a bifurcated clamp 84. The clamp embraces ball 82. The bifurcation has an exterior thread 86. Clamping nut 88 tightens the clamp around ball 82. In this way a limited range of universal motion is possible. This range may be improved by substitution of a second ball clamp at ring 34.
In use the arms are normally unlocked and parked beneath the table (see Figure 1). The theatre staff slide the patient from the trolley on to the table and then turn the patient onto one side into the lateral or coma position. While the staff stand on both sides of the table, the arms are tilted to bring the pads on to the table beside the patient. The pads are moved into contact at the upper back, lower back, chest and abdomen at a suitable height. The angle of the pads are adjusted and the arms are each locked by turning the hand screws. The surface bactericide is topically applied and the patient is draped. If the

patients position is to be changed, the hand screws are accessible through the drapes. The shape of the hand screws are easily felt even through the drapes and unlocking only requires rotation of 180°. The pads are adjustable to lie outboard of the table without disturbing the patient.
In a non-illustrated variant, the head plate of the table is removed allowing the patients head to overlie the end of the table. An end rail component is then clamped on the side rails of the table. A device as shown in Figure 3 is then fixed to the end rail in the mariner described. The pad plate is unscrewed and a neural head support is screwed to the nut 56. The head support clamps the patients head.
We have found the advantages of the above embodiment to be:-
1. Reduces the incidence of back injury in theatre staff.
2. The patient can be moved quickly to the resuscitation position; preparation or set
up time is reduced.
3. The surgical drapes can stay in place if pad adjustment during the operation is
4. Falls from the table by patients can be reduced or eliminated.
It is to be understood that the word "comprising" as used throughout the specification is to be interpreted in its inclusive form, ie. use of the word "comprising" does not exclude the addition of other elements,
It is to be understood that various modifications of and/or additions to the invention can be made without departing from the basic nature of the invention, these modifications and/or additions are therefore considered to fall within the scope of the invention.

1. A patient positioning device for an operating theatre table having an integral rail
alongside at least part of the table edge, the device comprising means to engage
the rail, support means pivotally connected at one end to the rail engagement
means and at the opposite end to a pad for contacting the patients body, means
for locking the supporting means in positions where the pad is overlying the
table, further from the table than the rail and below the table.
2. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the pad comprises a rigid
pad plate covered on one face with a resilient layer.
3. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the resilient layer is
secured to the plate face with hook and pile fabric fasteners.
4. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 3, wherein the
support means is a cranked or curved arm.
5. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 1-4, wherein the pad
pivot has locking means for locking the pad at a desired angle.
6. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 1-5, wherein the
support means is a pair of arms, the upper arm being pivotally connected to the
pad, the lower arm being pivotally connected to the rail engaging means and each
arm being pivotally connected to the other.
7. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 1-6, wherein the rail
engaging means is a saddle with a clamp for locking the saddle in a desired
position along the rail length.
8. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 6 or 7, wherein the
pivots all allow rotation of the parts about mutually parallel axes.

9. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 6-8, wherein upper arm
has a ring at each end, the lower arm has a ring at each end, the plate has a
mounting ring, the saddle has a mounting ring and the rings are connected in
pairs by the locking means to form pivots.
10. A patient support device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein
the locking means has radial arrays of teeth which engage and disengage and an
actuator which causes the teeth to engage and lock at a desired angle.
11. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 10, wherein one ring has a integral
radial array of teeth and the opposite ring has an integral complimentary radial
array of teeth.
12. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 11, wherein the arrays of teeth are
provided on separate toothed rings which engage the rings of the upper and lower
arms in order to rotate therewith.
13. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 10-12, wherein the teeth
are engaged and disengaged by actuation of a screw and nut and a spring which
allows the arrays to rotate by sliding over each other while inter-engaged.
14. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 10-13, wherein the teeth
are of shallow V-section.
15. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 14, wherein the tooth angle is 80-
16. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 1-9, wherein the
locking means is a friction clamp.
17. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 16, wherein the friction clamp is a
ball clamp.

18. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 9-17, wherein a
coupling connects the pad plate to the ring of the upper arm, the coupling
comprising coaxially overlapping threaded sleeves which secure the pad plate to
the ring and which sleeves enclose male and female splined members, one being
connected to the ring, the other being connected to the pad plate, whereby the
plate is rotatable and lockable in a selected position in relation to the patients
19. A patient support device as claimed in any one of Claims 6-14, wherein the pad
plate is substituted by a surgical accessory.
20. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 18, wherein the accessory is a neuro
head rest, a camera, a footrest, an arm board, a hip frame, an arthroscopy frame,
a stirrup, a varicose vein stripper or a laparotomy retractor.
21. A patient support device for an operating table, having an integral rail alongside
at least part of the table edge, comprising slide adapted to engage the rail of an
operating table, a slide pivot fixed to the slide, a first link connected at one end
to the slide pivot and at the opposite end to an intermediate pivot, a pad support
member with a surface for supporting a pad for a surgical patient, a pad pivot
fixed to the pad support member, a second arm connected at one end to the pad
pivot and at the opposite end to the intermediate pivot, each pivot having a clamp
for selecting a desired angle of articulation, whereby the arms are capable of
articulating to cause the pad to lie below the table or apposite a patient prone on
the table.
22. A patient support device as claimed in Claim 21, wherein the clamp selects a
desired angle of articulation by exerting a frictional force between the pivoting
23. A patient support device as 'claimed in Claim 21 or 22, wherein the combined
reach of the arms from the pad pivot to the slide pivot is 175-300mm.

24. A patient positioning device substantially as herein described with reference to the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings.



Patent Number 271134
Indian Patent Application Number 6673/DELNP/2006
PG Journal Number 06/2016
Publication Date 05-Feb-2016
Grant Date 03-Feb-2016
Date of Filing 10-Nov-2006
Name of Patentee SURGIPOD PTY. LTD
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
PCT International Classification Number A61G 13/12
PCT International Application Number PCT/AU2005/000732
PCT International Filing date 2005-05-12
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 2004902553 2004-05-12 Australia