February 29, 2024

Study: Dedicated smoke evacuators reduce exposure to particles, VOCs

Editor's Note

Dedicated smoke evacuators reduce the number of particles and levels of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde in surgical smoke during laparotomy, according to a study published online October 25, 2023 and in the March 2024 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons

The randomized, double-blind clinical trial assessed 42 patients undergoing laparotomy from June 11, 2021 to March 30, 2022. Acetaldehyde and formaldehyde levels were significantly lower (72% lower for the latter) in the smoke evacuator group, which contained 22 of the patients, than the control group, which contained the remaining 20. Particle counts in each measured size category—0.3, 0.5, 1.0 and 5 nm—were 80% to 95% lower in the smoke evacuator group.

Surgical smoke is an occupational health problem and is increasingly recognized as a potential source of virus transmission, the researchers write. These results show potential for dedicated smoke evacuators to minimize potential exposure to volatile organic compounds as well as hazardous particles.

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