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Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital First in WNY To Earn National Recognition For Safety in Surgery

Updated: 1/27/2021

Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital (MFSH)  has earned the Go Clear Award™ Gold Level 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. MFSH is the first hospital in Western New York to earn the award. It is achieved 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.

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. Today, it is estimated only 50% of health care 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, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

“We are very proud of the hard work the Surgical Services Department has done to achieve smoke free status over the past three years that has resulted in the Go Clear Award recognition, said Judy Baumgartner, president Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. “It is a testament to their remarkable commitment to improved patient and employee safety.”