ACH adds smokeless surgical equipment to rotation

Published 9:12 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

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Atmore Community Hospital (ACH) announced May 18 that its surgery department has upgraded their equipment to include a Stryker SafeAir Smoke Evacuation System.

The new upgrade was put into service April 2021.

The Stryker SafeAir Smoke Evacuation System was created to reduce surgical smoke particles, according to a release. These tiny particles are released during the surgery process. Physicians, researchers, workplace safety groups, clinical societies, quality organizations and governments have all scrutinized the potential hazards of surgical smoke. Many of these groups, as well as study authors, suggest the health risk to O.R. staff is greater than any one study or case report due to their cumulative, long-term exposure.

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“The Stryker SafeAir System makes surgery safer for both the patient and our surgical teams,” said Brad Lowery, ACH administrator. “Though Alabama does not require smoke evacuation systems for surgery, we felt that adding an extra level of safety better aligned with the quality we strive to provide. This is a welcome upgrade to our surgery department and enhances our ability to provide quality general surgery services to our community.”

“It is wonderful that we are now able to offer smokeless surgery at ACH”, said Rita Gohagin, OR manager. “Not only do we feel safer knowing there is less of a daily risk to operate where we work, we are also providing another level of safety to our patients, who may not even be aware that surgery smoke is an issue and potential hazard to them.”

According to officials, one day of O.R. exposure where electrocautery is used in surgery is the equivalent to smoking 27 cigarettes. In addition, there are 150 different chemicals created during various surgeries and

O.R. nurses are the highest risk because of their frequent exposure. Studies also conclude that 77 percent of smoke particles are not captured by standard surgical masks and those particles can contain viruses.