OSHA is the only U.S. regulatory body to date that has legal authority in the United States granted by Congress. They estimate that 500,000 healthcare workers are exposed to surgical smoke and bio-aerosols each year. On a number of occasions OSHA has reiterated that the management of surgical plume is a healthcare worker safety issue. They have also indicated that plume hazards fall under the scope of the following:
NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services. NIOSH provides recommendations and interventions for the building of a healthy, safe and capable workforce.
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States and writes standards by which they measure healthcare facilities compliance.
AORN is a professional association based in Denver, Colorado that represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses. The following are contained in Recommended Practices:
2017 AORN Guideline for Surgical Smoke Safety
“The health care organization should provide a surgical smoke free environment.”
The perioperative team should evacuate all surgical smoke.
“The collective evidence, standards, and guidelines from NIOSH, the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, and professional organizations indicates that evacuating surgical smoke protects patients and health care workers from the hazards of surgical smoke.”
“Perioperative team members should receive initial and ongoing education and competency verification on surgical smoke safety.”
“Policies and procedures for surgical smoke safety should be developed, reviewed periodically, revised as necessary, and readily available in the practice setting in which they are used.”
“Perioperative personnel should participate in a variety of quality assurance and performance activities that are consistent with the health care organization’s plan to improve understanding and compliance with the principles and processes of surgical smoke safety."
2017 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice, First Published: December 2016.
Copyright © 2017 AORN, Inc. All rights reserved.