FAQs

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Q1) Why should the insulation on surgical electrode probes be tested?
Q2 What are the causes of pinholes?
Q3) Can any other products be tested using the Micromed MMPD-8K?
Q3) What should be done to ensure the insulation's integrity?>
Q5) What is the overall Benefit?
Q6) On what principle does the Detector operate?
Q7) How is the applied voltage pre-set?
Q8) What are the minimum and maximum film thicknesses that can be tested with Detectors?
Q9) Do damp coatings or moist and humid conditions affect the operation of the Detector?
Q10) Is the high voltage application destructive to any of the generally used sealing coatings?
Q11) Can I get a shock while operating the unit?
Q12) How does the size of the hole, or defect, in the insulation of electrosurgica instrument effect the the leak of the RF voltage?
Q13) Why should the insulation on surgical electrode probes be tested?
Q14) What are the causes of Pinholes?
Q15) Which McGanElectrode should be used and when?
Q16) What is your Warranty?
Q17) Are the MMPD-8K and MM513 units easy to operate?
Q18) Does the Spark caused by locating the defect damage the insulation?

Q1) Why should the insulation on surgical electrode probes be tested?

It has been determined that insulation failure of active electrode surgical probes (bipolar and monopolar) is one of the major reasons why patients receive electrosurgical burns to unintended tissues. Even the smallest hole in the insulation of the probe will endanger the patient's safety since the escaping electrical energy will usually cause burns to the patient outside of the surgeon's view. Visual inspection of the integrity of the probe's insulation will often miss the small holes and cracks that occur.

Q2) What are the causes of Pinholes?

While much care is taken in the handling of these probes they are still subjected to mechanical stress due to the sterilization methods or cleaning agents used, such as alcohol or glutaraldehyde.
- These mechanical stresses can produce pinholes, nicks or cracks in the protective insulation of the probe.
- Handling of the electrode surgical probe during the surgery may also cause damage to the insulation.
- There is also a possibility of defects caused to the probe during packaging or that may occur to it during or after being shipped from the manufacturer.


Q3) Can any other products be tested using the MMPD-8K?

Yes, any conductive element with coating can be tested providing that the conductive element is easily accessible. For example, EKG, EEG probes.

Q4) What should be done to ensure the insulation's integrity?

A vigorous program of regular inspection of probes' insulation should be practiced. Formal procedures should be set-up to minimize the potential damage to the probe's insulation. This procedure should incorporate the probe's insulation testing on a regular basis. On of the best and most cost effective way to test the probe's insulation's integrity is to utilize the MicroMed PD-8K detection unit. It is suggested that the probe be tested post-surgery in the Sterile Department after the probe has been cleaned and just prior to sterilization.

Q5) What is the overall Benefit?

With 10's of thousands of unwanted electrosurgical burns occurring every year it is essential to reduce this number to protect the hospital and the physician from liability issues but more importantly to protect the patient from the numerous side effects from these types of burns and the associated costs to the hospital for the extra care required for these cases.

Q6) On what principle does the Micromed Detector operate?

The unit is a low frequency high voltage generator that delivers a stabilized preset DC output via a probe to an inspection electrode. As the electrode moves over the coating surface, if it encounters a pin hole or bare spot, a small current flows actuating a visible (non-hazardous) spark at the point of contact and a visible and audible alarm in the unit.

Q7) How is the applied voltage pre-set?

The voltage required is pre-set manually on the unit to a minimum level determined by the thickness of film of the coating product and its generic type ie: PVC, Teflon, FRP or polyethelene. Detailed instructions are set out in the section of this handbook marked Recommended Minimum Voltage. It is important to follow these instructions in setting voltages as some surfaces have a much higher dielectric strength than others - consequently offering a high resistance to the conduction of electricity. Applied test voltages should only be sufficient to detect faults, otherwise overstressing of the dielectric strength may occur with possible surface rupturing.

Q8) What are the minimum and maximum film thicknesses that can be tested with Detectors?

This depends on the type of coating applied.

Q9) Do damp coatings or moist and humid conditions affect the operation of the Detector?

As wet surfaces are generally conductive, this could affect the unit operationally.
Atmospheric moisture is unlikely to do so.

Q10) Is the high voltage application destructive to any of the generally used sealing coatings?

No! The applied voltage to the coating is non-destructive, provided the voltage applied is within the parameters set down in the Recommended Minimum Voltage section of this handbook for the type and thickness of coating.


Q11) Can I get a shock while operating the unit?

No! Under normal operating conditions the user should not handling the ends of the ground wire and the electrode wire at the same time. If this occurs then only a mild tingle will be felt by the operator.

Q12) How does the size of the hole, or defect, in the insulation of electrosurgica instrument effect the the leak of the RF voltage?

The smaller the hole, the crack or defect the more concenrated the voltage the more potential for a deeper non-intenteded tissue burn

Q13)Q. Why should the insulation on surgical electrode probes be tested?

A. It has been determined that insulation failure of active electrode surgical probes (bipolar and monopolar) is one of the major reasons why patients receive electrosurgical burns to unintended tissues. Even the smallest hole in the insulation of the probe will endanger the patient's safety since the escaping electrical energy will usually cause burns to the patient outside of the surgeon's view. Visual inspection of the integrity of the probe's insulation will often miss the small holes and cracks that occur.

Q14) What are the causes of Pinholes?

A. While much care is taken in the handling of these probes they are still subjected to mechanical stress due to the sterilization methods or cleaning agents used, such as alcohol or glutaraldehyde.
- These mechanical stresses can produce pinholes, nicks or cracks in the protective insulation of the probe.
- Handling of the electrode surgical probe during the surgery may also cause damage to the insulation.
- There is also a possibility of defects caused to the probe during packaging or that may occur to it during or after being shipped from the manufacturer.

Q15) Which McGanElectrode should be used and when?

There are three types of electrodes that are offered by McGan and they are easily interchanged to obtain the best detection results on various electrosurgical instruments.
The Ring electrode is used to testcircular (rod) type instrument(e.g. laparoscopicinstrument) and provides 360 degree results as long as the wires in the ring are in or close proximity to the insulation.
The Brush electrode is used to test areas of electrosurgical instruments or a flexibleor non-circularinstruments that cannot be tested by the ring or Tri-Hole electrode. For example, these include bi-polar forceps, endoscopic, or other non-circular insulated instruments.
The Tri-Hole electrode is used to testtestcircular (rod) type instrument(e.g. laparoscopicinstrument) that has a diameter of 3, 5 or 100mm. It will provide 360 degree results as long as the diameter of the instrument is in contact orvery close proximity to the conductive corewithin the hole. Note: The spark is contained within the hole and therefore cannot been seen however the alarm sounds and alarm indicator flashes on either test unit when a defect is detected.

Q16) What is your Warranty?

Subject to the warranty conditions noted in the full manual each product base unit is warranted by the Manufacturer to be free from defects arising from faulty design, material, or workmanship for a period of 12 months from the date of original purchase by the user.
Electrodes (Probes) and leads are warranted for 2 months. They are consumable items, and subject to wear and deterioration during use. The life of these parts can be extended by keeping them in a clean and dry condition. The probes and leads must be stored in suitable protective containers. During use, avoid “scrubbing” the probe along the surface of the work-piece.
Are your units UL approved?
Both the MM PD-8K and MM5kV units operate on battery power and therefore do not need to be UL certified, The battery adapters are UL certified and are so marked.


Q17) Are the MM PD-8K and MM5kV units easy to operate?

Yes they are very easy to set up in usually less than 2 minutes and the key parts are color coded to avoid any issue. Green wire to green port- Red wire to red port, insert the chosen electrode into the handle (or base unit of the MM5kV), set the kilovolts if needed to the correct setting for the devise under test. Begin testing
What kilovolt setting should be used?
Various electrosurgical instruments use different insulation (jacketed) material and thicknesses. About 90% of the jacketed electrosurgical instruments can be tested with either the ring or brush electrode in the 2.5-3.0 kV range. An electrosurgical instrument with powder coating should be set at around 1.5 kV. Using the Tri-Hole electrode the setting should be 4.0 to 4.5 kV .

Q18) Does the Spark caused by locating the defect damage the insulation?

Since the test instrument found a defect it does not matter if the spark causes slightly more damage as the instrument should not be used. Note: The smaller the crack or pinhole in the insulation the more damage it may cause to the unintended tissue.

If you have a question that is not covered in the FAQ above email us.

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