Guideline Implementation: Surgical Smoke Safety
Research conducted during the past four decades has demonstrated that surgical smoke generated from the use of energy-generating devices in surgery contains toxic and biohazardous substances that present risks to perioperative team members and patients. Despite the increase in information available, however, perioperative personnel continue to demonstrate a lack of knowledge of these hazards and lack of compliance with recommendations for evacuating smoke during surgical procedures. The new AORN “Guideline for surgical smoke safety” provides guidance on surgical smoke management. This article focuses on key points of the guideline to help perioperative personnel promote smoke-free work environments; evacuate surgical smoke; and develop education programs and competency verification tools, policies and procedures, and quality improvement initiatives related to controlling surgical smoke. Perioperative RNs should review the complete guideline for additional information and for guidance when writing and updating policies and procedures.