The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses' (AORN) Go Clear" program aims to bring awareness to the harmful effects of surgical smoke and introduces guidelines to protect the health of practitioners and patients, according to an article on the General Surgery News.
Few healthcare facilities have hard-set requirements when it comes to using scavenging systems to reduce exposure.
From toxic gases, vapors and dead and live cellular material including blood fragments and viruses, surgical smoke can be carcinogenic and cytotoxic. While many hospitals have the proper evacuation equipment (evacuator filters, tubing and wands), some practitioners are not even aware that these tools are at their disposal, the article said.
“There was an instance in one hospital, where [they owned] a smoke evacuator in every single room, but no one in the hospital even knew they were there, and they went unused. Most of these tools are not a burden to utilize, and yet, we remain resistant,” said Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR, member of AORN.
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