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Greenwich Hospital earns national award for eliminating toxic surgical smoke

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Greenwich, CT (July 21, 2020) – Greenwich Hospital has earned national recognition for creating an environment that protects patients and healthcare workers from surgical smoke that emits toxic chemicals equivalent to inhaling dozens of unfiltered cigarettes every day.

The Gold Level Go Clear Award from the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) was presented to Greenwich Hospital for its commitment to safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by lasers and electro surgery devices used during procedures. Only 50 percent of healthcare workers nationwide understand the hazards of smoke exposure.

“This award demonstrates our deep commitment to the health and safety of our patients, staff and community,” said Peggy Lennon, RN, executive director, Surgical Services, Greenwich Hospital. Surgical smoke is the unwanted byproduct of energy-generating devices used in 90 percent of all surgeries.

Surgical smoke contains toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, as well as viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke pose serious health risks for patients and workers. Studies show that the average daily impact of inhaling smoke from vaporized human tissue is equivalent to inhaling 27 to 30 unfiltered cigarettes.

Greenwich Hospital earned the award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing, as well as providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all procedures.

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