Doctors Fail to Protect Themselves From Surgical Smoke
A majority of doctors and nurses reported wearing surgical masks as a precaution, but they are ineffective.
HealthDay News — Nurses and doctors commonly report problems as a result of surgical smoke exposure, but they do not take effective protective measures, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Arzu Ilce, from Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey, and colleagues described problems experienced by 81 nurses and doctors as a result of exposure to surgical smoke. The study was conducted from April to June 2015.
The researchers found that problems reported as a result of surgical smoke exposure included headache (nurses, 48.9%; doctors, 58.3%); watering of the eyes (nurses, 40%; doctors, 41.7%); and cough (nurses, 48.9%; doctors, 27.8%). Other reported problems included sore throat, bad odors absorbed in the hair, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, sneezing, and rhinitis. The majority of nurses and doctors reported using surgical masks as a precaution (91.1% and 86.1%, respectively).
"Although most of the participants were aware of the lack of smoke evacuation systems (69.1%), filtration (63%), and a protocol (63%), it was found that they did not take any effective precautions, and only a few nurses used special filtration masks," write the authors.
- Ilce A, Yuzden GE, van Giersbergen MY. The examination of problems experienced by nurses and doctors associated with exposure to surgical smoke and the necessary precautions. J Clin Nurs. 2016; doi: 10.1111/jocn.13455