TBH Earns National Recognition for Safety in Surgery

The Bellevue Hospital (TBH) recently announced that it has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to recognize health care facilities that have committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. TBH earned its award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing and for providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

“At TBH, we consistently strive to demonstrate our core values, including safety and quality, in every aspect of patient care,” said Sara Brokaw, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of TBH. “Ridding our surgery department of hazardous smoke is in keeping with our mission to serve and improve ourselves as an organization to provide compassionate care for all, including our employees. I congratulate our perioperative department team for their hard work in achieving this recognition.”

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices that are used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and 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 to the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes. By implementing a smoke filtration and evacuation system and increasing smoke evacuation compliance on all surgical smoke-generating procedures, TBH has been able to greatly minimize the inhalation of these chemicals.

“The Bellevue Hospital is committed to finding new ways to improve patient, staff and physician safety in the surgery department and the Go Clear Award™ is an example of our dedication to provide quality care,” said Chasity Baptista, RN, senior director of nursing at TBH. “I am proud of our perioperative services team for taking the steps necessary to achieve this recognition and for implementing a safer surgical environment at TBH.”

 “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, TBH is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”