Quote from susanna
Question to all the anesthesia providers:
Do any of you work with END technicians in the OR, you know, the people who MEPs and SSEPs and other neurophysiological monitering on the patient with electrodes while the surgeon is working?
I wanted to know how used and how useful this field of work is. If so, do most ORs have these technicians? How helpful are they in protecting the patient from nerve damage? Did you get trained in school to do this type of monitering? Will anesthesia one day take over their job since they are monitering some of the same things anesthesia monitors?
As a legal nurse consultant and operating room nurse who has done many a spinal instrumentation case, I was involved as an expert in a complicated cervical spinal instrumentation case in which SSEP monitoring was planned to be used, and at the last minute was not used.
Patient wound up quadriplegic.
At that facility, known for its complicated spinal instrumentation cases, at that time, it was SOC; not using it was determined to be negligent.
I suspect--indeed, I hope-- that SSEP monitoring will become universal SOC for complicated C and T spine cases, particularly those involving instrumentation. Why not do everything humanly possible in the way of patient safety? Could it hurt?
SSEPs are not that helpful in L-spine instrumentation cases--but MEPs can be tremendously helpful.
FYI, there are neurologists and neuroanesthesiologists who oversee and even do MEP and SSEP monitoring; however, the monitoring is usually done by techs from the neurophysiology lab. I think it is going to be a pretty lucrative career choice in the near future for young people.