Patent for Sale:

Patented Visual Safety Indicator for Electrosurgical Instruments    

Using the invention, when the handpiece is activated the radio frequency (RF) current generator produces an electric field that is coupled to the handpiece.


The vast majority of modern electrosurgical equipment today consists of a radio frequency current generator and handpiece that passes electrical current through tissue for the purpose of cutting or coagulating. It combines the principle of electricity and cautery in that it uses heat to destroy tissue or coagulate blood.

It is well documented in medical literature that on occasion electrosurgical handpieces fail and either self activate or are unable to become activated by the surgeon. Unfortunately these failures, if annunciated at all, are annunciated only on the remotely located generator and owing to background noise in the operating suite often not heard or seen by the surgeon. These self-activating failures can and have caused patients to experience severe burns and in at least one occasion loss of an infant's toes during delivery.

Further, when the handpiece fails to activate the surgeon's conditioned response is to try a different location on a patient, in an area removed from the surgical area, to test the handpiece. This trial and error approach causes unnecessary lesions in the patient.

The patented device visually indicates the presence of electric fields in an electrosurgical apparatus, without the necessity of wiring or an electrical connection to the apparatus, to visually annunciate when an electrosurgical instrument is active. This is to alert the operating surgeon, and observing personnel, that the device is operational to mitigate the possibility of anyone inadvertently being injured. The device is comprised of an electrically insulated enclosure filled with a gas in close proximity to a surgical handpiece connected to a radio frequency current generator.

Using the invention, when the handpiece is activated the radio frequency (RF) current generator produces an electric field that is coupled to the handpiece. Because, by design, handpieces are nonconductors of electricity the electric field permeates the surrounding area and ionizes the gas contained in the nonconductive enclosure. The gas used in the enclosure is selected such that it will only ionize and fluoresce at wavelengths that are visible to the naked eye when in the presence of the electric field that is generated by the RF current generator.

It is important to note that the main embodiment of the invention, the nonconductive enclosure containing gas, is available off-the-shelf technology and marketed as miniature Neon lamps.

Owing to the simplicity, cost, and elimination of any electrical connection with the handpiece this invention uniquely satisfies the shortcomings for previous technologies.

The inventive device may either imbedded into the handpiece during manufacture or produced individually so that it can be adhered to a handpiece

Primary Application of the Technology

Medical Device

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 606: Surgery

Class 128: Surgery

Methods of treatment of the living body and apparatus used in the inspection and treatment of diseases, wounds, and other abnormal conditions of the bodies of humans and lower animals. This class includes methods and means for manufacturing surgical appliances which are not classifiable in other classes.