INTRODUCTION: An electrocautery unit is an invaluable piece of equipment in most operating rooms. It not only shortens operating time, but also reduces blood loss, avoiding unnecessary blood transfusion. However, the availability of these units remains to be a problem in smaller hospitals especially outside the metropolis due to its cost.
OBJECTIVES: This study compared an alternative cautery apparatus with a commercially available cautery unit in terms of hemostatic ability and extent of tissue damage.
METHODS: The study was a controlled trial using healthy rabbit subjects of comparable age (7-8 weeks old) and. body mass (450-550 grams).Stratified random sampling was carried out on the subjects. Hemostatic ability of each test apparatus was evaluated by measuring the amount of time to coagulate transected mesenteric arteries of rabbit subjects. Coagulative necrosis was quantified by measuring the depth and diameter of tissue injury to the peritoneum of rabbit subjects after application of each test apparatus.Observations undcrwent statistical analysis using repeated measures ANOVA with level of significance set at p<0.05.
RESULTS:The alternative cautery apparatus had a mean of 14.533 seconds versus 11.300 seconds for the commercial apparatus to achieve hemostasis. The study showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the alternative cautery apparatus and the commercial cautery unit in time to achieve hemostasis with a p value of 0.345. As for the depth of tissue damage, the alternative apparatus had a mean of 0.314 micrometers vcrs us that of 0.377 micrometers for the commercial unit. There was no statistically significant difference with a p value of 0.431. As for diameter of tissue injury, the alternative apparatus had a mean of 4.420 micrometers versus 2.347 micrometers for the commercial unit. A significant difference was noted in the diameter of tissue injury at a p value of 0.002.
CONCLUSIONS: Results showed that the alternative cautery apparatus was as effective as the commercial equivalent and could be a meaningful instrument in thc clinical setting.