April 11, 2023

The Joint Commission issues Quick Safety on preventing light source-related burns during surgical procedures

Editor's Note

The Joint Commission, on April 10, released a new Quick Safety advisory on preventing patient burns from light sources used during laparoscopic or arthroscopic procedures.

Burns from these light sources can go unnoticed because they typically do not produce smoke or charring, even of surgical drapes, The Joint Commission says.

The Quick Safety details how light sources can cause burns and provides recommended safety actions and resources.

Safety actions include:

  • Educating surgeons on the importance of handling laparoscopes and arthroscopes safely
  • Implementing system changes to minimize the risk of patient burns
  • Labeling light sources with warnings that they can ignite drapes and other materials
  • Completing all cable connections before turning on the light source
  • Keeping illuminated light cords away from drapes, patient skin, personnel skin, and any flammable material.

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