Stay away from the Risks of Surgical Smoke in Theatre

Ok. Let’s start with the basics…

What’s surgical smoke?
Laser as well as electrocautery devices used during surgery produce smoky emissions which could have particulate aerosols and vapours, which can have a chemical and biological effect on those exposed.

Who is at risk?
Theatre staff members, who inhale surgical smoke on a regular basis, as well as customers.

What is in smoke plume?
Acetontrile, Acetylene, Acrolein, Alkybenzene, Benzene, Bioaerosols, Blood fragments, Butene as well as Carbon Monoxide.

There is increasing evidence that smoke plume in theatres produced through laser, ultrasonic or sonic products can be hazardous for theatre staff members. The research indicates that smoke plume created with the help of these products can have harmful chemicals, carbonised tissue, blood particles, viral DNA molecules, bacteria and also carbon dioxide.

Without adequate safety surgical teams are in danger of breathing in the small particles and gases created during medical procedures. The annoying odour of surgical smoke plume is proof of the unsafe contents of the smoke. The scent is the variety of chemical by products when using laser or perhaps electro surgical instruments. Theatre staff members typically report smelling unpleasant odours during surgery.

Fact – If you can smell it, you’re breathing it in. Serious risks related to surgical smoke include: Hepatitis B, Asthma, Emphysema, Carcinoma, HIV, pulmonary congestion and Chronic bronchitis.

Experts have said: • “Although some viruses don’t aerosolise proficiently, others do, along with bacteria” (Sehulster LM 2004).
• “Blood contained in aerosols can easily present surgeons to HIV & Hepatitis” (Bureau of National Affairs, Inc study).
Recommended–> : BUY 3 ply FACE MASK
• “Laryngeal papillomatosis with human papillomavirus DNAcontracted by laser surgeon” (Hallmo & O Naess).
• “Human papillomavirus which cause genital warts seem to possess a predilection for infecting the upper airway mucosa and laser plume containing these viruses can represent more of a hazard for the surgeon” (Hugh M Gloster Jr MD, 1995).

How to help to deal with the risks connected with Surgical Smoke?
Firstly, it’s important to note that medical face masks are ineffective against surgical smoke plume. This’s backed with the MHRA:
“Masks, which includes specific laser medical masks, aren’t suggested for use as a primary strategy of filtering: these masks is probably not completely helpful as the main method of smoke plume filtration. They could not produce a highly effective seal around the face” (MHRA DB 2008 (03) April 2008.

Secondly, surgical smoke extractors are also never very effective at safe guarding you in theatre.

To be able to combat surgical smoke plume successfully it’s suggested using an FFP3 Respirator for all medical team working with laser as well as electrocautery devices in theatres.

The respirator satisfies the demands of EN149:2001 and also protects against great poisonous dusts, fumes, airborne pathogens and oil based mists/aerosols. Protection against low and non-toxic to average toxicity solid & fluid aerosols.

All FFP3 Respirators have a filtration efficiency > ninety nine % – Succeeding the most effective option obtainable so that you can in protection against surgical smoke plume in theatre.


Leave a Comment