Local medical center earns prestigious surgical safety award

Cone Health MedCenter Mebane Surgery Center has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its work in making surgeries safer for patients and staff by reducing or removing a hazard called surgical smoke. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The Mebane-based surgery center is the second facility in the state of North Carolina to earn this recognition.

Cone Health MedCenter Mebane Surgery Center has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its work in making surgeries safer for patients and staff by reducing or removing a hazard called surgical smoke. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The Mebane-based surgery center is the second facility in the state of North Carolina to earn this recognition.

The award recognizes practices that eliminate smoke caused by using lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. Such devices are used in 90 percent of all surgeries. They generate smoke that includes toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke poses 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.

MedCenter Mebane Surgery Center earned its award by undergoing surgical smoke education and using equipment to remove surgical smoke during smoke-generating procedures. Efforts are underway to reduce surgical smoke throughout Cone Health.

AORN represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards and practice resources—including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal—to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 40,000 registered nurse members manage, teach and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education or are engaged in perioperative research.