WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y (January 27, 2021) –Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital (MFSH) has earned the Go Clear Award™ Gold Level for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The award recognizes health care facilities committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety with practices that eliminate smoke caused by using lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. MFSH is the first hospital in Western New York to earn the award.

Surgical smoke is a by-product of energy-generating devices used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood, and cancer cells. Inhaling and absorbing surgical smoke poses serious health risks to patients and surgical staff.

In studies that compare inhalation of smoke from vaporized human tissue to smoke created by cigarettes, the average daily impact of surgical smoke to the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes. About 50 percent of health care workers across the U.S. understand the hazards of this smoke exposure.

“Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, Executive Director of AORN.  Groah said, “With this award, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

Judy Baumgartner, President Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, said, “We are very proud of the hard work the Surgical Services Department has done to achieve smoke free status over the past three years, and that has resulted in the Go Clear Award recognition. It is a testament to their remarkable commitment to improved patient and employee safety.”