77% of particles in surgical smoke are not filtered out by standard surgical masks.1,2
Surgical smoke is a dangerous by-product generated from the use of lasers, electrosurgical pencils, ultrasonic devices, and other surgical energy-based devices. As these instruments cauterize vessels and destroy (vaporize) tissue, fluid, and blood, a gaseous material known as surgical smoke is created.
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150+ chemicals found in
surgical smoke 3
Viable bacteria and virus 4
Ultra-fine particles similar
to coal dust 5
Healthcare workers exposed annually in the US alone 6
Cigarettes OR staff are exposed to daily 7
The number of respiratory problems reported by perioperative nurses compared to the general population 8
Is the rate of speed that smoke particles can travel and be evenly distributed throughout the O.R.9
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1McCormick, P. “Bovie Smoke: A perilous Plume.” AANS Neurosurgeon 17.1 (2008): 10-12. Web. March, 2016.
2Ball, K. “Management of Surgical Smoke in the Perioperative Setting.” AORN Annual Conference Presentation. Web. January, 2016.
3Pierce JS, Lacey SE, Lippert JF, Lopez R, Franke JE. Laser-generated air contaminants from medical laser applications: a state-of-the-science review of exposure characterization, health effects, and control. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2011 Jul;8(7):447-66. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2011.585888. PMID: 21726157.
4Hallmo P, Naess O. Laryngeal papillomatosis with human papillomavirus DNA contracted by a laser surgeon. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1991;248(7):425-427.
5Baggish, M.S., Polesz, B.J., Joret, D., Williamsson, P. and Refai,A. (1991), Presence of human immunodeficiency virus DNA in las smoke. Lasers Surg. Med., 11:197-203, doi:10.1002/lsm.1900110302
6Laser/Electrosurgery Plume, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). osha.gov. March, 2017.
7Hill DS, O’Neill JK, Powell RJ, Oliver DW. Surgical smoke—a health hazard in the operating theatre: a study to quantify exposure and a survey of the use of smoke extractor systems in UK plastic surgery units. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2012; 65(7):911-916.
8Ball, K. “Management of Surgical Smoke in the Perioperative Setting.” AORN Annual Conference Presentation.
9Hill, Daniel S., et al. “Surgical Smoke – A Health Hazard in the Operating Theatre. A Study to Quantify Exposure and a Survey of the Use of Smoke Extractor Systems in UK Plastic Surgery Units.” Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. (2012): 911-16.
*Paid CONMED consultant