Many of the mistakes made during veterinary electrosurgical procedures happen when the person performing it confuses the difference between electrosurgical and electrocautery. The two are vastly different in that the current during electrocautery does not pass through the patient where it does with electrosurgery. Patient preparation is critical before beginning a veterinary electrosurgical procedure, including the following important steps:
- Remove anything that could conduct electricity- Regardless of what area of the body will be receiving the veterinary electrosurgical procedure, you must remove all metal, including identification tags and collars.
- Review disinfecting agents to be used- You should take care to use either non-flammable products or be sure they have completely evaporated before starting the procedure.
- Be sure that the patient is properly grounded- When using a stainless steel or other type of metal operating or exam table, be sure to use a rubber mat covered with two layers of surgical towels. In addition, place the grounding plate on top of the towels, not on the table itself, and position under the patient so that the patient is in direct contact with it- no less than 85% contact.
- Place patient in proper position- You do not want any skin-to-skin contact points to avoid the current seeking an alternative route.
- Precautions for surgical team- Anyone present during the procedure should take care not to touch the patient during use of the veterinary electrosurgical unit to avoid being shocked. In addition, be sure to have a smoke evacuator in place as the smoke from this procedure is hazardous and has small particles that can penetrate a surgical mask.
If you would like to know more about the safe practices involved with a veterinary electrosurgical unit, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Georgian Anesthesia and Medical Corp. We can also address questions you might have about the equipment we have to offer and how to care for it. Call today to learn more.