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Study finds lawsuits on the rise over skin-related laser surgery


A US study published online in the journal JAMA Dermatology has found that lawsuits related to procedures when non-physicians are operating the laser are increasing, particularly outside of a traditional medical setting. ‘Procedures performed by untrained individuals, particularly in non-medical settings, are more likely to result in litigation,’ said lead author H. Ray Jalian, clinical instructor of medicine, division of dermatology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ‘Consumers should be aware that laser treatments are medical procedures and should verify the training, certification, and experience of the person performing the procedure.’ Researchers identified the frequency of medical professional liability claims stemming from skin laser surgery performed by non- physicians by using a database of public legal documents. In 175 cases related to injury from skin laser surgery from 1999 to 2012, researchers found 75


(42.9 per cent) cases involving a non-physician. The percentage of cases involving non-physicians increased from 36.3 per cent in 2008 to 77.8 per cent in 2011. Laser hair removal was the most commonly performed procedure. While one third of laser hair removal procedures were performed by non-physicians, 75.5 per cent of hair removal lawsuits from 2004 to 2012 involved non-physicians, and 85.7 per cent involved non-physicians between 2008 and 2012. Non-physicians performing skin laser surgery in the study included a diversity of operators, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistants, electrologists and aestheticians, among others. To meet the demand for these procedures, physician delegation of laser surgery has grown significantly in the past decade and non-supervised laser surgery is performed legally in many US states at non-medical facilities.


ETZ-Zurich scientists discover new EUV light source


Researchers from ETH-Zurich in Switzerland have discovered a previously untapped source of EUV light as part of investigations into modelling the light source. The scientists developed a theoretical model of an EUV emission that explains how the emission depends on the three-dimensional shape of the plasma.


The light source could be useful for various applications including semiconductor lithography. In the experiments, Andrea


Giovannini and Reza Abhari from ETH-Zurich blasted a 30µm diameter droplet of tin with a high-powered laser 6,000 times a second. They measured the spatial distribution of the resulting EUV emission and found that 30 per cent of it came from behind the region of the droplet that was


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struck by the laser. According to their model, this unexpected distribution was due to the fact that the plasma partially surrounding the droplet was elongated in the direction of the laser pulse. Devices that produce narrow beams of EUV for purposes like in semiconductor lithography use mirrors to focus the emission. But, until now, no one knew to collect the EUV light radiating from behind the droplet.


Thanks to this work, Giovannini


said, future devices can exploit this source of EUV emission. The experiments can also inform the development of EUV devices by showing where mirrors should be placed around a droplet in order to collect and focus as much EUV light as possible.


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