Surgical Smoke: Selecting The Right Tools, Understanding New Technologies

Course Code: 4192 / classroom

2 contact hours

Perioperative Nurses

Sterile Processing Personnel

Surgical smoke is ubiquitous in the surgical setting, generated by commonly used surgical instruments such as electrocautery devices. Research suggests the surgical smoke plume released into the air can transmit harmful biologic and toxic particles, which can be inhaled by all members of the surgical team, as well as by patients. Standards for smoke evacuation have been established internationally to protect patients and providers from the harmful effects of surgical smoke; however, smoke evacuation compliance varies across surgical settings. Through regulatory and accreditation compliance standards and developing legislation, stricter rules are on the horizon for surgical smoke evacuation. Professional associations, surgical teams and technology developers provide examples of smart strategies for achieving safe and effective surgical smoke evacuation. Perioperative professionals working in all care areas, including the operating room, sterile processing and materials management should be familiar with these standards to support clear air across the care environment.