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How safe is diathermy in patients with cochlear implant?

How safe is diathermy in patients with cochlear implant?
How safe is diathermy in patients with cochlear implant?
INTRODUCTION: Cochlear implants are surgically inserted electrical devices that enable severely or profoundly deaf individuals to interpret sounds from their environment and communicate more effectively. As a result of their electrical nature, they are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and can be damaged by excessive electrical energy. Surgical diathermy is one source of such potentially damaging energy. The British Cochlear Implant Group guidelines advise that monopolar diathermy should not be used in the head and neck region in patients with cochlear implants and that bipolar diathermy should not be used within 2cm of the implant (http://www.bcig.org.uk/site/public/current/safety.htm).

METHODS: A questionnaire was provided to 36 surgeons working in different specialties in the head and neck region, inquiring as to their knowledge of the safety considerations when using diathermy in cochlear implant patients. Thirty-five surgeons provided responses.

RESULTS: Overall, 77% of the respondents were unaware of the existence of published guidelines. Even when given an option to seek advice, 11% erroneously felt it was safe to use monopolar diathermy above the clavicles with a cochlear implant in situ and 49% felt that there was no restriction on the use of bipolar diathermy.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant deficit in the knowledge of safe operating practice in the rapidly expanding population of patients with cochlear implants which threatens patient safety. Through this publication we aim to increase awareness of these guidelines among members of the surgical community and this paper is intended to act as a point of reference to link through to the published safety guidelines.
0035-8843
585-587
Frampton, S.J.
231a12e1-3f1b-4195-a1af-0bef43f839b5
Ismail-Koch, H.
c9075c56-cd32-4075-8ab6-fbe96859b688
Mitchell, T.E.
3760bbd0-3fa7-466c-8cb9-7ffbb9411d18
Frampton, S.J.
231a12e1-3f1b-4195-a1af-0bef43f839b5
Ismail-Koch, H.
c9075c56-cd32-4075-8ab6-fbe96859b688
Mitchell, T.E.
3760bbd0-3fa7-466c-8cb9-7ffbb9411d18

Frampton, S.J., Ismail-Koch, H. and Mitchell, T.E. (2012) How safe is diathermy in patients with cochlear implant? Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 94 (8), 585-587. (doi:10.1308/003588412X13373405386538). (PMID:23131230)

Record type: Article

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Cochlear implants are surgically inserted electrical devices that enable severely or profoundly deaf individuals to interpret sounds from their environment and communicate more effectively. As a result of their electrical nature, they are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and can be damaged by excessive electrical energy. Surgical diathermy is one source of such potentially damaging energy. The British Cochlear Implant Group guidelines advise that monopolar diathermy should not be used in the head and neck region in patients with cochlear implants and that bipolar diathermy should not be used within 2cm of the implant (http://www.bcig.org.uk/site/public/current/safety.htm).

METHODS: A questionnaire was provided to 36 surgeons working in different specialties in the head and neck region, inquiring as to their knowledge of the safety considerations when using diathermy in cochlear implant patients. Thirty-five surgeons provided responses.

RESULTS: Overall, 77% of the respondents were unaware of the existence of published guidelines. Even when given an option to seek advice, 11% erroneously felt it was safe to use monopolar diathermy above the clavicles with a cochlear implant in situ and 49% felt that there was no restriction on the use of bipolar diathermy.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant deficit in the knowledge of safe operating practice in the rapidly expanding population of patients with cochlear implants which threatens patient safety. Through this publication we aim to increase awareness of these guidelines among members of the surgical community and this paper is intended to act as a point of reference to link through to the published safety guidelines.

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More information

Published date: November 2012
Organisations: Human Sciences Group, Cancer Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349760
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349760
ISSN: 0035-8843
PURE UUID: 54dd81bd-98e8-4f0b-b546-fe219a1830bb

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Date deposited: 08 Mar 2013 16:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:39

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