An electrosurgical device is a diathermic searing device to stop tissue hemorrhages in the course of surgery. To prevent the patient enduring electrical shock from the use of the electrosurgical device, a ground pad is connected to the patient.When using the ground pad, the electrosurgical device issued an indication that the grounding is in order (green light) or if it is not in order (red light).
In most hospitals, the ground pads of the electrosurgical devices, which are a consumable item, are manufactured by a manufacturer other than the maker of the electrosurgical device itself. In the latest shipment of ground pads which was delivered to one of the hospitals, ground pads were received in which the connector was non-standard. As a result, the electrosurgical device did not recognize the ground pad, and did not issue any indication as to the serviceability of the pad – neither green nor red light. The operating theater technician at the Sheba medical center immediately identified the problem, before the item was used, and thereby prevented its use. Since it is impossible to tell whether there is a proper grounding or not, it is forbidden to use these pads. The Sheba medical center forwarded its report to the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health forwarded the report to all the hospitals and instructed them to make sure that their consumable ground pads are suitable for the electrosurgical devices in use in the respective hospitals, and to ensure that the grounding is in order by observing the green light, rather than relying on the fact that the red light did not illuminate.