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research-article

MONITORING SURFACE CHARACTERISTICS OF SINGLE-USE ELECTROSURGICAL PENCILS AFTER CLINICAL REUSE AND IN-HOSPITAL REPROCESSING

[+] Author and Article Information
Francesco Tessarolo

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Trento, ItalyHealthcare Research and Innovation Program (IRCS-PAT-FBK), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy
tessaro@science.unitn.it

Sebastián Torres Montoya

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Antioquia School of Engineering - CES University, Sabaneta, Colombia
sebastian.torres@eia.edu.co

Luis Miguel Ballesteros

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Antioquia School of Engineering - CES University, Sabaneta, Colombia
luismib89@gmail.com

Marta Rigoni

Healthcare Research and Innovation Program (IRCS-PAT-FBK), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy
mrigoni@fbk.eu

Federico Piccoli

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari, Trento, Italy
federico.piccoli@apss.tn.it

Iole Caola

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari, Trento, Italy
iole.caola@gmail.com

Patrizio Caciagli

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari, Trento, Italy
patrizio.caciagli@apss.tn.it

Yesid Montoya

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Antioquia School of Engineering - CES University, Sabaneta, Colombia
yesid.montoya@eia.edu.co

Giandomenico Nollo

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Trento, ItalyHealthcare Research and Innovation Program (IRCS-PAT-FBK), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy
giandomenico.nollo@unitn.it

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038145 History: Received February 17, 2017; Revised August 28, 2017

Abstract

Safety and efficacy issues are associated to reprocessing of single-use electrosurgical pencils (EPs), requiring methods for assessing the reprocessing protocol before clinical re-use. This study aimed at monitoring the surface characteristics of single-use electrosurgical pencils subjected to multiple clinical use and in-hospital reprocessing. A total of 24 single-use-labelled EPs were divided in five test groups and one control group. The test groups were subjected to a different number of clinical uses, ranging from one to five. A multi-technique approach based on optical stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-rays spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and thermo-gravimetric analysis was applied. The silicon coating of the tip was significantly reduced and foreign bodies were occasionally found on reprocessed EPs. The amount of biological debris and chemical residuals increased with the number of reprocessing cycles in critical areas. The degradation temperature of the EP handle polymer showed a progressive significant reduction. Cable cord showed no modification after reprocessing. EP tip could undergo major surface modifications that can affect functionality. The efficacy of the reprocessing protocol in removing debris from the EP handle should be carefully assessed. Surface and thermal characteristics have to be considered for validating a reprocessing protocol of single-use labelled EP.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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