Dr. Garber Q&A

Q. As a practicing Obstetric Anesthesiologist, why did you decide to try Accuro for epidurals and spinals?

A: I’m always pursuing new technology. I happened upon the Accuro booth at the SOAP meeting, was very intrigued, and decided to give it a try. As an anesthesiologist performing epidurals and spinals, we’re one of the few specialties not using imaging technology on a regular basis to find the epidural space; it’s an advancement that’s due in our specialty. We have access to conventional ultrasound, but it is cumbersome and can be difficult to read. We are going to see continued progress with access to small, dedicated units like the Accuro.

Q: Do you feel Accuro replaces your existing skillset?

A: No, it doesn’t replace my skillset; it augments it. Accuro is a spinal navigation device I keep in my tool bag for challenging patient anatomy.

Q: Why have you chosen to become a “Clinical Champion” for Accuro?

A: When I first started using Accuro in my practice, I told my colleagues about it and left it out for them to try. Practically every one of them picked it up and realized Accuro’s value. I find the device so useful; I want to spread the word. I am an extremely seasoned Obstetric Anesthesiologist, and if it can help me, it can help many other practitioners. My colleagues and I find Accuro quite beneficial; I know a lot of other practitioners will.

Q: How does Accuro help you with challenging patient anatomy?

A: We have patients, some with a high BMI, and it’s extremely difficult to palpate their midline. It’s similarly challenging to palpate the midline on patients who have had back surgery, which can compromise the area you need to place an epidural or spinal. Accuro locates the midline and has automated overlays that identify the epidural space providing tremendous help with marking the spot for needle placement. I certainly find Accuro beneficial, and I’ve had some very challenging patients. One, in particular, had a spinal fusion with hardware, and a scar that wasn’t on the midline, which is unusual. Accuro helped me identify the epidural space and successfully place the epidural for her; otherwise, I don’t think I would have been able to. Consider a situation where you’re up late at night in labor and delivery, face challenging patient anatomy, and need to safely and efficiently perform an epidural procedure. Wouldn’t you want a tool that could help. Accuro makes it easier and simpler to locate the epidural space and mark it.

I also see Accuro’s automated image guidance quite advantageous for residents and medical students learning to do epidurals and spinals. It may seem obvious, but until you’ve had a lot of practice, it can be tough for students to evaluate and find the midline, even in patients that don’t have challenging anatomy. 

Dr. Stephen Garber, Anesthesiologist and Medical Director Obstetric Anesthesiology at Saddleback Medical Center

Dr. Stephen Garber, 

Anesthesiologist, Medical Director Obstetric Anesthesiology, Saddleback Medical Center

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