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Understanding Electrosurgery Safety
Practical pointers for protecting patients from stray current and hot instruments.
Leena Khaitan
Publish Date: November 13, 2019   |  Tags:   Patient Safety
KNOWLEDGE GAP Surgeons often think they understand surgical energy, but many don't have the formal training needed to truly know how the devices work.   |   Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR

Electrosurgical injuries are estimated to occur in 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 laparoscopic procedures. That doesn't seem like many, but when you consider about 2 million cases involving surgical energy instruments are performed in the U.S. each year, these figures are cause for alarm — and re-education. After all, electrosurgical injuries are preventable. With that in mind, let's look at the most common electrosurgery failures that lead to patient injuries as well as the practical steps you can take to prevent these negative outcomes from taking place at your facility.

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