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Original research
Novel accessory safety footswitch permitting dual control of surgical electrical diathermy: an asset in risk management in surgical training?
  1. Abdalla Eisawi1,
  2. Myat Aung2,
  3. Ruben Canelo3
  1. 1 General Surgery, Scarborough General Hospital, Scarborough, UK
  2. 2 General Surgery, Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
  3. 3 University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abdalla Eisawi, General Surgery, Scarborough General Hospital, Scarborough YO12 6QL, UK; dreissawi{at}


Introduction Human error contributes to the majority of adverse events in the operating theatre environment. Many processes exist to limit the incidence of such adverse events. However, the role of technology and device advancement has been limited in this respect.

Methods A dual-controlled accessory electrical diathermy footswitch (abortive diathermy footswitch device or ADF) concept was developed in an attempt to improve patient safety in theatre. The activation of the ADF allows a senior surgeon to control the activation of diathermy devices by a junior surgeon by deactivating diathermy devices when the ADF footswitch is operated.

Results The ADF device was constructed as a final working and tested prototype in association with the local medical engineering department at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. The device was clinically tested during two separate theatre sessions involving five elective laparoscopic cholecystectomies.

Conclusions We demonstrated the feasibility and functionality of the ADF device and propose a role in surgical training through potentially limiting surgical errors associated with the use of electrical diathermy during training and expanding accessible surgical experience.

  • accessory footswitch
  • abortive diathermy
  • safety footswitch

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  • Contributors AE contributed to the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article. AE is responsible for the overall content as a guarantor. MA and RC contributed to the planning and conduct of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The NHS (Health Research Authority) Research Ethical Committee decision on the need of ethical approval was sought and the authors received a confirmation that an NHS research ethical approval is not needed. The authors retain confirmatory evidence of this. Further approval was sought at the level of the local clinical governance department at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, UK. A confirmation was received that no former approval was required to undertake this clinical evaluation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.