Powered Instruments and Caregiver Safety

Course Code: 3567 / classroom

3 contact hours

Perioperative Nurses

Sterile Processing Personnel

As the practice of surgery continues to evolve, so do the type and complexity of the surgical instrumentation; powered surgical equipment is one example of the sophisticated instrumentation needed to support advanced surgical techniques. The proper use of the various types of powered surgical instruments available today in order to promote patient safety and prevent postoperative infections is the shared responsibility of many, including central service personnel, biomedical technologists, and all members of the surgical team. Therefore, it is important that perioperative personnel who participate in orthopaedic procedures understand how the proper use of battery powered and electrical surgical instruments promote positive patient outcomes. This educational activity will provide a review of the historical evolution of powered surgical equipment. The component parts basic to the various types of powered surgical instruments and equipment will be presented. Recent safety issues associated with lithium ion batteries will be reviewed. The clinical considerations related to bone sensitivity to heat; key aspects of cutting, sawing, drilling, rasping, and pin driving; as well as blade and bur characteristics associated with the use of powered surgical instruments will be discussed. Finally, general guidelines and additional considerations for the safe use and handling of powered surgical instruments, including the importance of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) service contracts, reuse, and reprocessing aspects of accessories will be outlined.