Besides the Obvious, What’s the Difference Between Manual & Battery-Operated Procedure Chairs?


Surgery is a highly competitive field that demands extreme accuracy, making ergonomic design crucial to both surgeons’ and patients’ well-being. Transferring patients from wheelchairs or stretchers to a surgical table can be cumbersome. And in surgical emergencies, every second counts. Equipment challenges can have a significant impact on health and well-being, as well as on surgeons’ ability to perform their job effectively.

Most experts in the field agree that the invention of surgical stretcher chairs was a game-changer. Surgeons are able to adjust the unit for exact patient positioning, which allows precise access to surgical sites. For patients, being able to stay on one comfortable furniture surface lowers the risk of injury and creates a feeling of security, both of which can improve health outcomes. 

Known by several names — surgical chair, stretcher chair, and (as we at Champion call it) procedure chair — this innovative mobile unit is a transfer stretcher, surgery/procedure table, and a recovery recliner all in one piece of furniture that provides a no-lift, no-transfer, safe, clean, and very efficient throughput from intake to operating room to recovery.

The convenience and comfort are obvious, but there are several factors to consider when shopping for your facility. Let’s start with a biggie: power.

Should You Purchase Manual or Power Chairs?

According to OutPatient Surgery Magazine, a division of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), power is important. Non-manual surgical chairs are usually powered by rechargeable batteries, so ask companies about the battery life of their chairs before you buy. Ideally, a single charge should power a chair for at least a full day of constant use. Simply place the chairs’ batteries on chargers at the end of each day so they’re fully charged by morning. 

Quality batteries shouldn’t run out of power during the day, if they were charged overnight. And quality batteries should last around 10 years, with the odd one or two that might go bad over time and need to be replaced. But power chairs make a difference — they’re quicker and easier to use, which saves precious time in all surgery-related workflows.

Other Factors Besides Power vs. Manual to Consider 

  • Durability: Premium materials are great for comfort, and many companies offer a range of color options. But the primary concern is how long the materials will last. Attractive aesthetics is nice, and ergonomic design is great for providers and patients, but make sure the components are easy to disinfect and will endure deep cleaning after every patient use — that means no discoloration, no cracks, no rust.
  • Functionality: How easily can you steer the chair? What about down a narrow hallway where there are other patients/people? Can the chair be manipulated for different surgery positions? Can the provider easily access the patient? How hard is it to brake? The chair’s functionality will directly impact safety and efficiency.
  • Weight Capacity: The higher the weight accommodation, the more versatile the chair for treating patients. Even if you never treat a patient who weighs max capacity (usually 500 lb.), you know that your chair is safe for all your patients, regardless of how heavy they are. 
  • Accessories: From IV and tank holders to tables and trays, to headrests and X-ray cassette holders, make sure the company you’re considering has the tools you need. 
  • Protection: Replacing mechanical parts can be expensive, and sometimes it’s difficult to find trained service technicians. Hiring a company who offers regular preventative maintenance and can have a licensed technician at your facility with short notice limits downtime while extending the life of your chair. 

When it comes to procedure chairs, Champion’s TMM Collection is leading the way with its One Patient, One Surface® philosophy. Our engineers considered each of these factors and designed our Procedure Chairs to exceed expectations. And with Champion Service+, you can protect your product and your investment.

While each procedure chair in our impressive TMM Collection is battery-operated, the TMM3 features a manual left side that is easy to remove and easy to install. 

Other features of Champion’s TMM3 include:

  • Patient weight capacity: 350 lb.
  • Radiolucent back
  • Fold-down push bar
  • Locking 90° seat rotation
  • Three patient belts (head, torso, & leg)
  • Swing & tuck side rails
  • Memory foam cushions
  • Auto-extending footrest
  • Brake & steer caster system
  • 30” columnar base (standard height)

Medical Seating Solutions for Your Facility

Adaptable for various clinical settings, the TMM3 Procedure Chair is commonly used in Radiology and Speech Pathology environments and is highly conducive for barium swallow tests and videofluoroscopic swallow studies.

If you’re in the market for surgical seating solutions, look no further. Champion offers a comfortable and ergonomic stretcher, chair, and transport device — all in one.

Want to learn more about this product? A Champion team member would be happy to help you evaluate the TMM Collection for your facility. 

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