Surgical smoke in the operating room

Surgical smoke in the operating room is harmful to staff and patients. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified harmful byproducts such as benzene, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, bioaerosols, dead and live cellular material, HPV, blood fragments, and viruses in the smoke of electrocautery devices (Robison & Neville, 2019). The proposed solution that I am trying to address with my project is to reduce/eliminate surgical smoke in the operating room and educate the operating room staff on the health hazards that surgical smoke can impose on staff and patients. In order to reduce exposure to surgical smoke I am purposing the purchasing of adaptors that will be utilized with the Neptume 3 waste management system. I am also developing an educational/competency program on the hazards of surgical smoke and the importance of using evacuation equipment along with proper PPE for all surgical procedures that generate surgical smoke.In 2016 when I started my career as a RNFA I began getting awful headaches during certain cases along with a runny nose and throat irritation. At first, I thought maybe I was beginning to develop an allergy to the type of surgical mask I was using so I made an appointment with our occupational health department. Occ health and an ENT doc also felt that it was probable due to the mask, so I was ordered my very own supply of hypoallergenic surgical masks. Those masks didn’t work, I continued to have symptoms. I finally figured out that it was due to surgical smoke inhalation. During my investigation I realized that much of the OR staff had no knowledge of the hazards and potential health risks of surgical smoke. Also, our operating rooms are not equipped with the proper smoke evacuation equipment.My vision of the proposed project has not changed since I began researching the subject. Exposure to surgical smoke requires an intervention.ReferenceRobins, T., & Neville, R. (2019). Utilizing a shared governance approach for smoke evacuation

 

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