SMTL Medical Disposable Datacard

Neutral Electrode (diathermy), high frequency surgical equipment monitored

Other Names: Split plate electrode.
All Wales Contract: ECG Electrodes, Diathermy plates, Defib pads
Sterility Status: Non Sterile.
Usage Status: Single use.


Also known as 'split plate neutral electrode' and 'dual dispersive electrode'. Thin, lightweight and flexible electrodewith a conductive layer, usually metallic foil, split into two or more areas, covered in a conductive adhesive. The electrode is usually foam backed and the adhesive layer protected by a peel-off sheet. Shapes vary; may be rectangular, square or oblong. A continuous adhesive border provides additional adhesion to the patient. A conductive tab provides a separate means of connection from the two or more areas to the h.f. (high frequency) surgery generator (diathermy machine).

Available with or without pre-attached leads. Please note that the end connector (for connection of leads to the diathermy machine) must be compatible with the machine.


Key areas where used

  • Theatre - all surgical specialities

Method of use

The peel-off sheet is removed and the electrode ispositioned on the patient. The lead is connected to the h.f. generator (diathermy machine) either directly, or the tab of the electrode is attached to the lead by a grabber clip.

The resistance through the patient between the two or more areas of the electrode is monitored by the h.f. surgery generator. This is known in the BS EN standard as Contact Quality Monitoring. One manufacturer uses the term 'return electrode monitoring' (REM).

A neutral electrode of this design which is only partially attached to the patient will present a higher resistance between separate areas of the neutral electrode and this is arranged to disable the generator output. This will decrease the risk of alternate site burn.

The MHRA recommend that only qualified theatre staff with appropriate training should apply this electrode.


  • Packaged in foil (often 5 per pack)

Sizes Required

  • Adult
  • Paediatric
  • Neonatal/Premature
  • A variety of shapes exist ranging from square torectangular. The electrode area should be a minimum of 69 square centimeters and must meet the thermal requirements of sub-clause 59.104.5 of BS EN 60601-2-2.

Relevant Standards

The following standards are relevant to this product;

Organisation Standard No. Title
BSI BS EN 60601-2-2 : 2007, sub-clause 59.104 Medical electrical equipment. Particular requirements for the safety of high frequency surgical equipment


Coding System Code Description
NSV FDK011/155/152 Electrode plate diathermy, adult split.
NSV FDJ0596 Electrode plate diathermy, paediatric split.

Example products

The following table lists examples of products known to be acceptable for this product description.

Brand Name Product Code Manufacturer
Split patient plates - 1100 series 1180 3M
Neutralect Mini 2406M Uno Medical Ltd


Revision Details

Editor Pete Phillips
Revision No 1.17
Revision date 2008/11/19

Please inform SMTL of any inaccuracies noted or changes requiredin this datacard.


This datacard has been prepared as an aid to contracting forpurchasers in the NHS in Wales, and shouldnot be used as a substitute for literature, instructions or training from the manufacturersof the devices.

Products mentioned in this datacard are for illustration purposes onlyand should not be seen as an endorsement of these products.

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