298 - A Healthcare System’s Journey to Go Smoke Free
Background: SCL Health is a not-for profit faith-based healthcare system with weight hospitals located in Colorado and Montana. The surgical team for decades have been aware of the effects of surgical smoke.
Assessment: The team identified inconsistent use of current evacuation equipment in the hospitals. An informal survey at one of the hospitals determined that members of the team experience physical symptoms during surgical smoke cases. Barriers to use of smoke evacuation devices included potential cost of supplies and equipment, concern for noise generated from evacuation equipment and the feel of the electrocautery pencil in the hand of the surgeon Preparation and Planning: Applied for and was selected for a system financial safety grant which was used to contract with an industrial hygienist to perform air samplings in the Operating Room at one selected hospital. An evaluation of smoke evacuation pencils was initiated along with the System Supply Chain.
Methods: The study collected area airborne samples for aldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, ethyl benzene, 1,2-dicholoroethane and styrene, Data and Outcomes: Facility evaluation surveys of device trials were evaluated by Supply Chain and Operating Room Managers. Two vendors were selected to provide smoke evacuation pencils. The air sampling study demonstrated the presence of formaldehyde in the OR, sterile corridor and sub sterile corridor during surgeries where smoke evacuation was not used. Ultrafine particle were much higher without the use of smoke evacuation. Implications for Practice: Having specific data to validate reported literature assists with surgical smoke evacuation implementation and compliance. Collaboration within the healthcare system to for a standard policy provides strength in implementing a surgical smoke free policy provides a healthy environment for patients, staff and providers.