Have you ever imagined a surgeon smoking a pack of cigarettes while operating on patients? No, right! But many are doing the so by getting unnecessarily exposed to surgical smoke in their operating rooms and refusing to get rid of it.
Research tells that the average surgical smoke or plume created in a single day in operating room is equivalent to smoking as many as thirty unfiltered cigarettes.
What Is Surgical Smoke Or Plume?
Surgical procedures using diathermy, destroy human tissues, leaving a gaseous by-product is referred as surgical smoke or plume. Numerous studies led by hospitals were conducted to determine what, if any health risks this by-product poses to the operative staff.
Results from these studies seems to indicate that, yes! there are several inherent dangers and health risks associated with exposure to surgical smoke or plume. This smoke includes roughly 200 chemicals, including dozens of air pollutants, toxic and carcinogenic substances, bacteria, and viruses.
Health Risk Of Smoke
Research found that toxic substances such as carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals are released from the surgical smoke that includes toluene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, benzene, and more. During tissue ablation, the organisms found within the tissue are also ablated and carried by the smoke.
That is one the major reasons why there have reported cases of gynecologists developing warts in their nose and throat after years of breathing in the smoke created during laser ablation of warts.
The National institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes, surgical smoke exposure can lead to chronic and acute health diseases ranging from chronic bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema.
Despite this, in India, there are no regulations mandating evacuation of surgical smoke. Instead, several hospitals and healthcare organizations stop short of requiring surgical smoke evacuators, simply noting that surgeons should be aware of this emerging issue.
Protecting The Operation Theatre With Smoke Evacuators
Just raising awareness on this issue is not good enough. Surgeons using electrocautery and laser devices should understand the potential hazards that come with it.
While the danger seems grave, there is a simple solution to it – smoke evacuation. This means every time you perform a procedure that creates smoke, you will always have to use a smoke evacuation device. During laparoscopic surgeries, a trocar in connected to such device and in case of open surgery one can use a cautery pencil holder. Sounds pretty easy, right!
However, there are many who hesitate to use smoke evacuators. A recent survey found that less than half of the health workers in India are using local exhaust ventilation during electrosurgery.
With more attention being paid to the hazards of surgical smoke, manufacturers are getting on board with smoke evacuation solutions. Now there are many new technologically advanced smoke evacuators available in the market. These are immensely better than the bulky and loud evacuators of the past. In addition, the latest ones are easy to use, portable, and cost-effective.
The benefits are not just for surgeons, the use of an evacuator makes the OR more pleasant for all the staff and even protect patient on the table. In fact, most OR staff will choose a smoke-free environment over a smoke-filled one on any day of the week.
HospitalBuy offers comprehensive and indigenously designed smoke evacuators providing disinfection and filtration of surgical smoke. To make your OT environment safe and smoke free, check out this latest addition on HospitalBuy now!
Meditorch’s HospitalBuy is a one stop marketplace, for world-class, high quality surgical & healthcare equipment that can suit all your hospital needs. We offer the latest range of smoke evacuation systems of highest quality at affordable prices. Our experts provide a complete product portfolio and services to set up smoke evacuators.