Avoid the Risks of Surgical Smoke in Theatre

Ok. We need to start with the basics…

What is surgical smoke?
Laser and electrocautery devices employed during surgery produce smoky emissions that could possess particulate aerosols and vapours, that could have biological effect and a chemical on anyone exposed.

Who’s at risk?
Theatre staff members, who inhale surgical smoke on a routine basis, as well as patients.

What’s in smoke plume?
Acetontrile, Blood fragments, Bioaerosols, Benzene, Alkybenzene, Acrolein, Acetylene, Butene plus Carbon Monoxide.

There’s increasing evidence that smoke plume in theatres produced using laser, ultrasonic or sonic units is often dangerous for theatre staff members. The research implies that smoke plume produced by using these devices can have chemicals that are toxic, carbonised tissue, blood particles, viral DNA particles, bacteria and also carbon dioxide.

Recommended–> : Manufacturer of face mask
Without adequate safety surgical teams are vulnerable of inhaling the tiny particles and gases created during medical procedures. The unpleasant odour of surgical smoke plume is proof of the unsafe contents of the smoke. The fragrance is a combination of chemical by products when using laser or maybe electro surgical instruments. Theatre staff members often report smelling unpleasant odours during surgery.

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

Experts have said: • “Although a number of viruses do not aerosolise correctly, others do, along with bacteria” (Sehulster LM 2004).
• “Blood contained in aerosols can introduce surgeons to Hepatitis” and HIV (Bureau of National Affairs, Inc study).
• “Laryngeal papillomatosis with human papillomavirus DNAcontracted by laser surgeon” (Hallmo & O Naess).
• “Human papillomavirus that cause genital warts seem to have a predilection for infecting the upper airway mucosa and laser plume that contains these viruses could represent more of a hazard for the surgeon” (Hugh M Gloster Jr MD, 1995).

The best way to help to deal with the risks linked to Surgical Smoke?
For starters, it is important to be aware that surgical face masks are ineffective against surgical smoke plume. This’s supported with the MHRA:
“Masks, which includes special laser surgical masks, are not suggested to be used as a main technique of purification: these masks is probably not completely powerful as the primary method of smoke plume filtration. They might not create a good seal around the face” (MHRA-DB 2008 (three) April 2008.

Secondly, medical smoke extractors are not necessarily very effective at defending you in theatre.

In order to fight surgical smoke plume successfully it’s advised to use an FFP3 Respirator for almost all medical staff working with laser as well as electrocautery devices in theatres.

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


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

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