An infant surgical table for laser photocoagulation: Design and development

Kimberly Ryland, Carl A. Nelson, Thomas Hejkal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Retinopathy of prematurity, caused by abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of premature infants, is a leading cause of childhood blindness. It is treated using laser photocoagulation. Current methods require the surgeon to assume awkward standing positions, which can result in injury to the surgeon if repeated often. To assist surgeons in providing quality care and prevent occupational injury, a new infant surgical table was designed. The engineered solution is an attachment to a standard surgical table, saving cost and space. The adjustable height and tilt provided by the standard table combined with the 360 deg rotation designed into the attachment allow the surgeon to sit during surgery. The infant table incorporates several novel features. Critical cords and tubes are routed through an aperture at the center of the attachment to avoid pulling and kinking. A four-bar locking mechanism allows easy attachment to standard medical railing. A straight-line mechanism provides positive locking of the rotation, allowing precise positioning of the infant. Load-deflection testing was carried out using an infrared camera tracking system, and expert feedback was also obtained in a clinical setting to ascertain proper function. Strength testing showed acceptably small deflections and stresses under representative loading conditions. Benchtop and clinical testing of the infant table have demonstrated that it reliably and safely meets the design objectives. The device also shows promise for use in other infant or pediatric treatment and in small-animal veterinary practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031003
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Infant surgical table
  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Straight-line mechanism
  • Toggle mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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