Methodist Hospital Atascosa has earned the Go Clear Award™ for eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). It is a national recognition honoring healthcare facilities committed to providing increased surgical patient and healthcare worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by using lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery.

Methodist Hospital Atascosa earned this award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing and providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood, and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke pose serious health risks to patients and surgical staff. Studies compare the inhalation of smoke from vaporized human tissue to the smoke created by cigarettes; the average daily impact of surgical smoke on the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes. Today, only 50 percent of healthcare workers across the U.S. understand the hazards of smoke exposure.

“Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO/executive director of AORN. “With this award, (facility) is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

Learn more about services provided at Methodist Hospital Atascosa.