Potential dangers of surgical smoke

Exposure to surgical smoke can cause both acute and chronic health effects ranging from eye, nose and throat irritation to emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis.2,3

Potential dangers of surgical smoke

Tune into Let's Change the Air to hear from leading smoke evacuation advocates

“When you say surgical smoke, I think potential workplace safety issue. Nurses need clean air because we are human beings.”
— Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, CMLSO, FAAN

Let’s Change the Air with Kay Ball

Resources to improve smoke evacuation in the OR

Commonly used tools may not be effective in clearing smoke from the OR. Wall suction, for example, may be ineffective at removing smoke directly where it is generated, and surgical masks do not filter many substances from surgical smoke. Different smoke evacuation methods are recommended to improve the air in the OR.4,5

Flexibility to improve smoke evacuation in the OR

Live and Virtual Programs for OR Smoke Evacuation

Ethicon offers three Continuing Education courses that credentialed Ethicon representatives deliver to your staff, FREE. Each course is certified by the California Board of Nursing for one contact hour.

Course 1 – Basics of Electrosurgery 2
Course 2 – Preventing Surgical Fires
Course 3 – Understanding Surgical Smoke Plume

Live and Virtual Programs for OR Smoke Evacuation

Change is in the (OR) Air with Ethicon

Surgical smoke carries harmful toxins. Exposure to these toxins has been linked to both acute and chronic health effects.3
Devices may capture up to 99% of smoke when placed one inch from the source.7

Change is in the (OR) Air with Ethicon

Smoke Evacuation Success Stories

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital reached 93% smoke evacuation compliance after just four months. Learn the steps that Tiffany Tscherne, HFWH Regional Director for Surgical Services and Trauma, took to accomplish this for her facility.

Mercy Medical Center reached 95% smoke evacuation compliance in just over a year. See how key resources and dedicated support from Ethicon helped surgical staff champion smoke evacuation in their OR.

A Smoke Evacuation Success Story


*Captures and filters 99.999% of particulates and microorganisms 0.1 to 0.2 microns, at 50 +/- 10 dBa per IEC 60601-1 @ 1m.

1. Memon AG, Naeem Z, Zaman A, Zahid F (2016) Occupational health related concerns among surgeons. Int J Health Sci 10 (2): 279-291.

2. Okoshi K, Kobayashi K, Kinoshita K, Tomizawa Y, Hasegawa S et al. (2015) Health risks associated with exposure to surgical smoke for surgeons and operation room personnel. Surg Today 45 (8): 957-965.

3. Prevention CfDCa (Web Page) NIOSH Study finds Healthcare Workers’ Exposure to Surgical Smoke Still Common. Updated November 3, 2015. Available online at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-11-03-15.html. Accessed: November 5, 2018

4. Hill DS, O’Neill JK, Powell RJ, Oliver DW (2012) Surgical smoke - a health hazard in the operating theatre: a study to quantify exposure and a survey of the use of smoke extractor systems in UK plastic surgery units. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 65 (7): 911-916.

5. Ulmer BC (2008) The hazards of surgical smoke. AORN J 87 (4): 721-734; quiz 735-728.

6. Per Instructions for Use

7. Schultz L (2014) An analysis of surgical smoke plume components, capture, and evacuation. AORN journal 99 (2): 289-298.