Smoke is in the air …
Surgical smoke is created during cauterization of tissue with the electrosurgical device. It is the unavoidable by-product of electrosurgical procedures. Particle concentration in the air multiplies within few minutes after the start of a procedure and rapidly spreads across the entire operating room where it affects medical staff at work.
… and it is dangerous
Surgical smoke obstructs the surgeon’s vision of the surgical field. Its smell is an unpleasant work condition for operating room staff. Moreover, surgical smoke can cause health problems starting with irritation of eyes, nose and throat and leading to more serious and/ or infectious diseases.
Surgical smoke contains:
- Chemicals with a mutagenic and carcinogenic potential similar to that of cigarette smoke
- Viable and non-viable biological material (cells, bacteria, viruses) bearing the risk of infection and transmitting diseases
- Lung damaging dust penetrating the respiratory tract causing acute and chronic inflammatory changes
Surgical masks, general operating room ventilation and hand-held wands provide little or no protection for staff.
Surgical smoke must be evacuated at its source.