Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Great Prepping Debate - December 2012 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 147 of 159

OSE_1212_part3_Layout 1 12/5/12 9:34 AM Page 148 SAFETY David Vidra, CLPN, WCC, MA Protect Patients With Piercings Remove all body jewelry before procedures begin. S urgery and piercings don't mix, so your facility's policy on body jewelry should be straightforward: Patients must have it removed before they arrive at your facility. Unfortunately, getting them to comply with that hard-and-fast rule isn't always so simple. What's the big deal? Piercings don't pose problems; it's the metals they're made from that could cause trouble during surgery. If a piercing is made of implant-grade titanium, the likelihood of its conducting electricity is minute. However, you can't know for certain the quality of metal used to craft patients' piercings. In fact, I'd approximate that less than 15% of piercing studios use implant-grade metals, which can live within the body and be exposed to biological fluids without deteriorating or causing allergic reactions. That means there's a good bet most modified patients present with piercings made from cheap metals that increase risk of stray burns during electrosurgery and, in the event of an emergency, defibrillation. Piercings in the lip or tongue, regardless of metal quality, can also cause issues during intubation. Patients with piercings should have them professionally removed before the day of surgery. Of course, some might forget or opt to keep jewelry in for personal reasons. Your facility's policy should state that no jewelry is to be worn in the OR. If patients refuse to remove piercings, have them sign a waiver that indicates they've been told of the dangers their piercings pose and chose to ignore your warnings. If a patient is 1 4 8 O U T PAT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | D E C E M B E R 2012

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