The Arbutus Drill Cover enables surgeons to safely use a low-cost hardware drill within a clean surgical environment, allowing the use of a standard hardware drill in place of expensive $30,000 surgical drills. The device is autoclave sterilizable and reusable.
The Drill Cover has to date treated over 4,000 patients across a number of emerging markets as well as emergency relief situations, with resounding positive feedback from surgeons.
The robust surgical-grade textile, combined with a custom water-proof chuck adapter interface, maintains a completely sealed barrier between the non-sterile drill on the inside and the sterile surgical field outside.
Ongoing clinical, lab, and usability testing has demonstrated safety and efficacy on par with an expensive surgical drill, while significantly outperforming manual drills.
The Drill Cover brings cost-effective surgical power drills to places in need without compromising world-class quality or functionality.
Arbutus Drill Cover Product Resources
Arbutus Medical Info [PDF]
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Drill Cover “one size fits all”? Are there recommend drill brands for optimal fit?
The Drill Cover can fit any drill with a hex adapter that will fit within the Cover itself, however we recommend the DCF610S2. This drill has been found to directly match the speed, power, torque, and hand feel of surgical drills.
What is a Drill Cover kit?
Most hospitals that use the Drill Cover find it to provide the most value when purchased as a kit of 1 drill and 5-6 covers. Having multiple covers allows hospitals to batch sterilize all covers at the start of the day and then perform back-to-back surgeries all day by simply replacing the used cover with a new sterile cover. In order to provide a complete solution, we sell the kit including a battery operated power drill.
How long will each Drill Cover last?
The Drill Cover is designed to meet international standards as an effective barrier to fluid penetration. Based on these design standards, the Drill Cover can be safely used for 80 surgeries, after which the performance may be degraded and we recommend the easy replacement of the fabric component of the Drill Cover.
Does the nose of the drill stick out the front of the Drill Cover?
No. The metal components seen in the photo and video are completely integrated into the fabric of the Drill Cover and are NOT in direct contact with the non-sterile hardware drill on the inside of the cover. It becomes clear when holding the product in your hand that the metal component seen in the photo is fully integrated into the Drill Cover itself and connects through an extension shaft to the drill inside of the cover. A completely sealed, water-proof interface provides a sterile barrier between the non-sterile inside of the cover and the clean operating environment outside.
Is a hardware drill safe to use?
Yes. We have conducted extensive lab and usability tests to show the safety and efficacy of hardware drills when used together with the Drill Cover.
Researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver General Hospital conducted a 26-subject drilling user study in which participants drilled holes in an acetal bone model using both a manual drill, modern surgical drill, and Drill Cover system. The study found no significant differences in drilling time, drilling accuracy, or plunge depth when comparing a Drill Cover system with a modern surgical drill. The study also found that both the Drill Cover system and surgical drill allowed surgeons to control plunge, whereas the manual hand drill resulted in significantly greater plunge depths that risk soft-tissue damage during surgery. The findings of the study were presented by Justin Lam at the 2015 Bethune Roundtable Meeting (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and will be published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in 2015.
When choosing a hardware drill for bone drilling, one must consider speed, torque, size and weight. Drilling speed is important is because of the risk of bone necrosis at the drilling site, which is the death of bone cells due to high temperature. In order for bone necrosis to occur, the bone typically has to be above 47° C for over 1 minute. Drill speeds from 100-1800 RPM were investigated in previous studies. The bone necrosis threshold of 47° C was not exceeded in any of the tested speeds with irrigation, and only exceeded at speeds of 1140 RPM and 1820 RPM without irrigation (above the speeds of the recommended DeWalt DCF610S2 power screwdriver). Many low-resource hospitals use hardware power drills which operate at speeds up to 4000 RPM and are inappropriate for orthopaedic use. This is why we carefully chose the DeWalt DCF610S2, with a variable speed of 1050 RPM which is comparable to orthopaedic surgical drills. Orthopaedic surgical drills by Zimmer operate at speeds up to 1000 RPM and Conmed’s MPower2 line of orthopaedic surgical drills operate at speeds up to 1250 RPM.
Comparable surgical drills from Zimmer and Conmed also provide an initial range of acceptable torques for a substitute drill. Zimmer’s orthopaedic drills referenced above operate at maximum 17.7 in-lbs and Conmeds MPower 2 operates at maximum 33 in-lbs. The DeWalt drill suggested features a torque limiter that lets the user control the torque. In tests, the Dewalt produces 30 in-lbs of torque at torque setting 14, although most interviewed surgeons prefer setting the drill on MAX, which produces approximately 50 in-lbs.
The weight and size of a drill is also important for surgeon fatigue and feel. The size and weight of the DeWalt DCF610S2 is similar to surgical drills, weighing 1 kg and having a size of 16cm x 19cm x 6cm.