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Electro dispersive pads over tattoo's

Operating Room   (7,341 Views 7 Comments)
by ORMurse ORMurse (New Member) New Member

ORMurse has 1 years experience and works as a OR RN.

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One question, I am a OR nurse with only five months experience and I recently was told not to put the dispersive pad over tattoo's. Not arguing here as AORN says not to, but why only older tattoo's have the metal in them to cause harm right? No reported incidents ever with this so why do we have to do it? If no harm and no reason of harm then why why why do we do this it just does not make sense to me. I though only prison tats and old old tats had any possiblity of metal in them. Just wondering????

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wtbcrna works as a CRNA, MSN, DNAP.

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One question, I am a OR nurse with only five months experience and I recently was told not to put the dispersive pad over tattoo's. Not arguing here as AORN says not to, but why only older tattoo's have the metal in them to cause harm right? No reported incidents ever with this so why do we have to do it? If no harm and no reason of harm then why why why do we do this it just does not make sense to me. I though only prison tats and old old tats had any possiblity of metal in them. Just wondering????

I always heard that older tattoos and "prison" homemade tattoos were the ones that didn't contain metal. It is just a theoretical concern and until a large study is used to prove this is not a concern it will still be a recommendation. I am sure bovie pads are placed over tattoos everyday, but it just hasn't been reported.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V78-4X8BP5X-3&_user=10&_coverDate=11%2F15%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1446885560&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=9f091eabdbaf55292ce28c27d8c92c9a&searchtype=a

"Market survey on toxic metals contained in tattoo inks

Giovanni Fortea, , , Francesco Petruccia, Antonio Cristaudob and Beatrice Boccaa

aIstituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy

bIstituto Dermatologico S. Gallicano, Via Elio Chianesi 53, 00144 Rome, Italy

Received 9 February 2009; revised 19 August 2009; accepted 25 August 2009. Available online 19 September 2009.

Abstract

Tattooing practice is adopted worldwide and represents an important socio-cultural phenomenon, but, the injection into the skin of coloring agents as metals might pose a risk for allergies and other skin inflammations as well as for systemic diseases. In this context, 56 inks for tattooing purchased from 4 different supply companies were analyzed for metal concentration. Aliquots of pigments were microwave digested by nitric acid, fluoridric acid and hydrogen-peroxide and Al, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sr and V were quantified by sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Limits of quantification varied from 0.07 ng/ml (Cd) to 10 ng/ml (Al and Fe); recoveries ranged from 92% (Cd and Sb) to 109% (Sr); within- and between-day precisions were 3.2% and 4.67% on average.

The relative contribution of metals to the tattoo inks composition was highly variable between brands and colors, even in pigments with the same base color. Elements found as the main components of inks were as follows (in µg/g): Al, 1.59-5893; Ba, 0.058-1226; Cu, 0.076-31,310; Fe, 0.717-88,443; Sr, 0.174-36.4. Toxic metals as Cd, Mn, Pb, Sb and V were over the 1 µg/g in a few cases, while Hg was in traces. Among the allergenic metals, Cr was the highest (0.315-147 μg/g), followed by Ni (0.037-9.59 μg/g) and Co (0.0028-6.43 μg/g) then. On 56 tattoo inks, Cr, Ni and Co exceeded the safe allergological limit of 1 µg/g in 62.5%, 16.1% and 1.8% of cases, respectively."

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ORMurse has 1 years experience and works as a OR RN.

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Thank you

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GadgetRN71 has 10 years experience and works as a RN.

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Hmm, I was always told it was because they consider tattoos scars and you're not supposed to put the pad over bony prominences, hairy areas or scars. I just assumed that it was connectivity/grounding concerns. Was never told about metal in old tattoos. We do remove piercings though for that reason.

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mrsilly has 5 years experience and works as a CNII.

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You are not supposed to place grounding pads on tattoos because of both reasons already mentioned. Although newer tattoo inks supposedly do not have metal, it is still good practice to assume that all tattoos contain metal. I also think that tatoos are scars or at least scar-like. I actually have a tattoo that has some raised edges/areas which means I have a scar but unless you touch the area, you can't tell. It's better to just avoid them and not have to worry about potential consequences.

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Mr. & Mrs. RN has 9 years experience and works as a OR Circulator.

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Yes, it's because of the scarring. You should avoid large areas of scarring because it creates more resistance at the dispersive pad site, and if there is an area of less resistance, the electricity will exit there and cause a burn.

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melloyello13 works as a IT Support Assistant and staff RN.

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I have several tattoos which have been done professionally and within the last five years. I can't get an MRI because the magnetic force affects the ingredients of the tattoo ink and causes burning (which I'm guessing is due to the metalic components).

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