Louisiana passes surgical smoke evacuation legislation for ASCs, hospitals

Louisiana has become the 12th state to enact surgical smoke evacuation legislation, which will go into effect in the state Aug. 1, according to a July 26 report from The Advocate.

The legislation requires hospitals and ASCs in the state to implement policies to evacuate smoke in operating rooms. 

Surgical smoke can occur when human tissue comes into contact with a heat-producing device, like a laser or a hot knife. 

An estimated 90 percent of surgeries, including knee replacements and appendectomies, generate surgical smoke, according to the report. 

Smoke evacuation tools can clear surgical smoke in the operating room by attaching to tools at the point where smoke is made and filtering it. 

Surgical smoke contains carcinogens and 150 hazardous chemicals. Sixteen of those chemicals are on the EPA's priority pollutant list. 

The daily impact of inhaling surgical smoke for an operating team is the equivalent of smoking 27 to 30 unfiltered cigarettes. 

In 2018, Rhode Island became the first state to enact surgical smoke legislation for ASCs and hospitals, followed by Colorado in 2019. Seven more states currently have legislation in the works. 

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