6.1 The Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode may have particular advantages for patients with fragile or damaged skin; these include patients with burns, patients with skin conditions, paediatric patients and older patients. It also has the advantage that no patient needs shaving whereas about 30% of patients may need to be shaved when disposable single-use patient return electrodes are used.
6.2 The Committee accepted that it is plausible that the Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode reduces the risk of patient return electrode site burns, based on theoretical considerations and on the lack of any reported burns in the UK. It made this judgement despite a very limited amount of published clinical evidence comparing the Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode with disposable patient return electrodes in monopolar electrosurgery.
6.3 Use of the Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode might theoretically increase the risk of alternative site burns. Good operating theatre practice minimises this risk and use of the Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode in this context could reduce the overall risk of burns from electrosurgery.
6.4 The Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode may be more convenient for theatre staff to use than standard disposable single-use patient return electrodes, but it is not likely to provide substantial savings in operating theatre time. The economic evidence and cost modelling demonstrated near equivalent resource use to current practice. Any health system or cost advantages are likely to be influenced significantly by whether the Mega Soft Patient Return Electrode is being considered for use for inpatient operating lists or day-case surgery.