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To the Editor.
—Back discomfort is one of the most frequent complaints of patients undergoing ophthalmic surgery under local anesthesia. This is especially true for operations like par plana vitrectomy, which can require several hours for completion. Based on a suggestion by Steve Charles, MD, of Memphis, we have used an alternating pressure mattress modified for use on the operating table. The mattress portion of the unit (manufactured by the Alphabed division of the Huntleigh Group Inc, New York) is 58 × 180 cm in size, is made of heavy-duty vinyl, and consists of sets of air cells that can be alternately expanded and contracted (Figure). The doubly insulated air pump, which is placed at the foot of the operating table, is run by 110/130 V ac and provides for a five-minute inflation-deflation time. We have been impressed with the decrease in patient discomfort after the institution of this alternating
McCuen BW, Machemer R. An Alternating Pressure Mattress for Use in Eye Surgery. Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(8):1469. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930020343032