“The Consortium on Electrosurgical Safety During Laparoscopy met in the summer of 1997 to discuss the various perspectives of [surgeons, operating room nurses, biomedical engineers, risk managers, healthcare provider organizations] and explore ways to reduce patients’ risk of injury during laparoscopic monopolar electrosurgery.”
The Principles and Guidelines generated by the Consortium appear below.
“Active electrode monitoring (AEM) should be strongly considered for all laparoscopic monopolar electrosurgery procedures. AEM technology protects against thermal burns that may occur due to current traveling along aberrant pathways by employing a combination of added electrical shielding and electronic current monitoring. The added electrical insulation and conductive shield absorb any stray electrical currents released through faulty insulation. Moreover the conductive shield is electrically connected to the return electrode of the electrosurgical unit, allowing capacitively coupled current to flow off harmlessly. In the event of stray energy reaching potentially dangerous levels, the active electrode monitoring circuit interrupts the flow of energy from the electrosurgical unit and sounds an alarm before a burn can occur.”
Brill AI et al. Patient Safety During Laparoscopic Monopolar Electrosurgery – Principles and Guidelines.
Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (JSLS). 1998; 2: 221-225.