Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Archive Patient Safety 2009

Shield Patients and Staff From Stray Electrical Current

Knowing your electrosurgical equipment can help prevent patient burns and OR fires.

Vangie Dennis

Vangie Dennis, RN, CNOR, CMLSO


No group of surgical instruments is used as frequently, yet understood as poorly, as electrosurgical units. Because electrosurgery employs high-frequency, high-density electrical current to produce the desired tissue-cutting and -sealing effect, this technology poses a significant safety hazard if staff fail to take the proper precautions. Let's review the basic features of your electrosurgery units and the accompanying devices, products and practices that can help shield patients and staff from stray electrical current.

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

The MH in Me

As a surgeon who tested positive for susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia, the potential for my patient and team to experience a sudden MH crisis is never far from my mind.

Seeking Safety

5 experts from every corner of the OR reflect on what it takes to protect your patients.

Perfecting the Prone Position

By adding a methodical, aviation-like checklist that focused on teamwork, we reduced repositioning and patient injuries.