Surgical Devices Examples from Thousands of Accident and Forensic Investigations Undertaken
Surgical Instruments. Many are highly specialized and delicate. Depending on the technique of use, they may be prone to breakage since they can be made only so strong due to their small size.
Endoscopes and Bronchoscopes. Hazards from dislodged tip pieces and infection from inadequate disinfection..
Electrosurgical Units and Electrodes (electronic scalpels that cut and cauterize). Injuries: Intra-operative skin burns. Principle ignition source of surgical fires on patients.
Surgical Sutures. Injuries from disrupted suture line. Below case. Disrupted carotid artery suture; fatal bleeding post-op.
Surgical Staplers. Hazard: staple line opens with bleeding from inadequate staple formation. Causes: Internal target tissue too thick for staple cartridge; cartridge instrument damage from clamping on other surgical instrument.
Trocars: Extremely sharp; Used to enter the abdomen or chest for minimally invasive endoscopic surgery (e.g., with staplers); Puncture of major vessels a possibility.
Reusable Cranial Perforator Drill Bit with Automatic Stopping Clutch. Hazard: Mis-assembly can cause clutch to not stop drilling through skull causing plunging of perforator into brain. Newer designs are pre-assembled and disposable.
Foreign Bodies Found In Patients
Suture Boots: Hazard: Dislodge from forceps and embolize; to cerebral carotid artery in this case.
Cap from pre-filled vaginal antifungal applicator was not removed before insertion. Cap retained in vagina: expelled months later.