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. 2018 Jul;108(1):24-32.
doi: 10.1002/aorn.12273.

Back to Basics: Protection From Surgical Smoke: 1.2

Back to Basics: Protection From Surgical Smoke: 1.2

Lisa Spruce. AORN J. .


Surgical smoke is formed when energy-generating devices (ie, electrosurgery units, lasers, powered instruments) raise the intracellular temperature of tissue to at least 100º C (212º F), causing tissue vaporization in the form of surgical smoke. Surgical smoke contains components that are known health hazards, such as benzene, toluene, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, viruses, and bacteria. There have been case reports of human disease tied to the inhalation of surgical smoke; therefore, it is important for perioperative team members to minimize their exposure and patient exposure. In spite of the health risks, many perioperative departments do not consistently and effectively evacuate surgical smoke. This Back to Basics article provides basic steps that perioperative team members can take to protect themselves and their patients from the harm caused by surgical smoke exposure.

Keywords: smoke evacuation; smoke-generating devices; surgical smoke; surgical smoke exposure.

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