Goal is to protect patients and health care providers from surgical smoke
Centennial Hills Hospital is one of only five hospitals in the country, and the first in Nevada, to earn the Go Clear Award™ to eliminate hazardous smoke during surgical procedures. The award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).
“This is an important advancement in the health and safety of our patients, employees and medical staff,” explained Sajit Pullarkat, CEO of Centennial Hills Hospitals. “We’re proud to be a leader in reducing surgical smoke by investing in smoke evacuator equipment and providing education to everyone in the operating room so they understood the impact of this smoke on their health and their patient’s health.”
According to AORN, surgical smoke is a byproduct when laser and electrical devices are used during procedures, primarily to cut tissue, then quickly cauterize the capillaries and blood vessels to minimize bleeding.
“It creates a zap of electricity that creates a plume of smoke containing toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria and blood,” explained Jeff Belcher, RN, BSN, director of surgical services at Centennial Hills Hospital and the leader of the hospital’s Go Clear™ initiative. “Inhaling and absorbing surgical smoke during multiple surgeries over multiple days takes a serious health toll on our surgical staff and surgeons. Once our staff learned about its impact, they quickly embraced it. I’m very proud of our work to be one of the first in the United States to earn the Go Clear™ award, and to continue finding new ways to improve patient and staff safety in the surgery department.”
“Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO/Executive Director of AORN. “With this award, Centennial Hills Hospital is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”
The other five hospitals in The Valley Health System are either enrolled or planning to enroll in the program.
By the Numbers:
AORN estimates that surgical smoke occurs in 90 percent of all surgeries.
According to AORN, studies compare the inhalation of smoke from vaporized human tissue to the smoke created by cigarettes; the average daily impact of surgical smoke to the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes.
Today, it is estimated only 50% of health care workers across the U.S. understand the hazards of smoke exposure.
The Go Clear Award is presented by AORN to recognize health care facilities that have committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery.
About Centennial Hills Hospital
Centennial Hills Hospital is a member of The Valley Health System, a network of five six acute care hospitals that provide care for patients throughout Southern Nevada and surrounding areas. Centennial Hills Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, and offers a wide range of healthcare services including emergency, surgical, cardiovascular, women’s health and neonatal care.
Updated information about The Valley Health System can be found on:
Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center
Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center
Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center
Summerlin Hospital Medical Center
Valley Hospital Las Vegas
AORN represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards and practical resources – including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal – to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 40,000 registered nurse members manage, teach and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education or are engaged in perioperative research.
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