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Bovie smoke in the OR


Specializes in Operating Room. Has 18 years experience.

I work in a 12 room OR and we have one smoke evacuator used only for GYN condoloma surgeries. I believe the AORN standard is for smoke evacuators to be used for every surgery using the bovie. Does anyone know if it is required in southern california to have smoke evacuators in the OR?


Specializes in Surgery. Has 30+ years experience.

According to NIOSH, electrocautery plume presents a hazard as it contains three different types of hazards. Particulate, including nanoparticles, Chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic such as Acrylonitrile, Benzene and Perchloroethylene amongst others, Over 400 chemicals in all. and biologic components like intact strands of human DNA, HPV viruses, HBV, and HIV have been captured in plume. That being said, OSHA general duty clause states that if there is a recognized hazard,(See Above) then the employer has a duty to mitigate this hazard and that employees have a duty to use the equipment provided to mitigate the hazard. This applies to plume as it does to eye shields. Please contact me if you need further information. Plume is very dangerous and nurses need to protect themselves and their patients from this hazard. It is not just for condylomas either, it is ALL plume.


Specializes in MedSurg, OR, Cardiac step down.

I just started in the or and still orienting. I just found out in my particular area. Only one surgeon uses a smoke evaluator and none of them use the suction because they say it impedes their view or something of that nature. This really has me concerned..


Specializes in Surgery. Has 30+ years experience.

BelleMorteRN- There are many options to use for plume evacuation that does not impede vision of the surgical field. This forum has rules preventing the advertising of specific companies but if you would like to contact me, I can help with each of these issues you describe. I have implemented smoke evacuation programs all over the country and the difference is noticeable when programs are successful. There is technology out there to make your OR safe from plume.