PRESS RELEASE (February 19, 2021): InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital has earned the Go Clear Award™ – Gold Level for its achievement in the elimination of hazardous smoke during 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 practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. Gold level is the highest rank achievable under the program.
The AORN is the leader in advocating for excellence in perioperative practice and healthcare. The hospital submitted one-year of data as evidence that the comprehensive requirements established by the AORN related to smoke evacuation were met. Since inception, the operating theatres have been equipped with 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% 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.
According to the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN), the need to evacuate and appropriately filter surgical smoke is being recognized around the world as countries move to provide a safer environment for both perioperative personnel and patients. More than 500 surgical teams worldwide have adopted the program.
Chief of Clinical Services at TCI Hospital, Mikette Bain stated: “The receipt of the Go Clear Award supports our commitment to protect patients and healthcare workers through the use of best practices that eliminate the presence of harmful surgical smoke. I wish to congratulate the multidisciplinary team for their hard work on this project.”
Commenting on the award, Surgical Services Manager at TCI Hospital, Pheona Brown-Watson stated: “The Turks and Caicos Islands is the first country in the Caribbean to receive this award level. This achievement is an indication of our continuous commitment to the health and safety of our staff and our patients. As a teaching hospital, we are building a strong foundation to sustain quality patient care.”