John Kodosky has been doing skeletal traction procedures in hospitals for more than a decade, but always thought there must be a better way than how it’s currently done.
John Kodosky PA-C, Instructor/Clinical
“Skeletal traction in the ED is often seen as barbaric,” says Kodosky, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Orthopedics at UT Health, a trauma hospital in San Antonio, Texas. ”In the emergency room, we show up at the bedside with a drill and put a pin in someone’s leg. It’s not always as sterile as an operating room. We needed a solution that will maintain sterility and save time for residents without restructuring the process.”
When Kodosky met the team from Arbutus Medical, he knew he’d found an exciting option that met all these needs.
“I sat down with Arbutus Medical, we ended up talking until the end of the day, and then I worked with them for months, bouncing ideas off each other until we came up with something that could be implemented easily and would be cost-effective for US and Canadian emergency rooms,“ he says.
The result is Arbutus Medical’s new product, the SteriTrak™, a sterile kit for trauma centers that includes a reliable power tool with speed, torque and ergonomics of a surgical orthopedic drill, a single-use sterile cover for the drill, and a specialized traction pin.
“With these kits, Arbutus Medical gives us everything to complete the skeletal traction procedure ,” says Kodosky. “We would be able to store these SteriTrak™ kits in our workroom, and wouldn’t have to go to a different floor for sterilizing. It gives us the ability to perform the procedure quickly and saves time from not running around to find the equipment or sterilize it.”
By making skeletal traction easier, more sterile, and faster for patients, Kodosky says he’s sure it will change the perception of the skeletal traction procedure in trauma centres, making it less harsh.
With the SteriTrak™, the sterile single-use cover ensures sterility. “With the cover, the equipment is readily sterile, so we can keep patients safer without having to worry about reprocessing the drill,” he adds.
At UT Health, about three skeletal traction procedures are done every week, says Kodosky. Arbutus Medical’s clinical studies show that an orthopedic physician can place the SteriTrak™ in about a minute after prepping the site. Kodosky agrees that speed and efficiency are important when applying temporary traction.
“Having the SteriTrak™ in our emergency department will also take away costs by speeding up our actions,” he adds. “In most institutions, to acquire traction pins you have to go through an ordering process. Then when they come in, they go through sterile processing, with each pin processed individually, then re-boxed, moved back to emergency. By having the pin with the kit, the hospital saves time and money.”
Kodosky says he’s wanted to solve this problem for a long time, and is extremely excited about this new product. “I didn’t know how to improve the procedure, always thinking ‘there must be a better way to do skeletal traction,” he notes. “With the SteriTrak™ , Arbutus Medical will simplify the femoral and tibial pin placement for residents. Orthopedic surgeons at my hospital are very excited to have the SteriTrak™ as part of our hospital system.”
SteriTrak™ will soon be available for sale in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit https://arbutusmedical.com/trauma-centers/steritrak.