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#1 Posted : 22 August 2001 11:09:00(UTC)
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Posted By Bryn Maidment
Morning All

This is a relatively urgent request!!

Do any Healthcare safety bods out there have any knowledge of HSE action (IN's, PN's, prosecutions) regarding the lack of suitable extraction of smoke (plume) generated in surgery? Personal or anecdotal tales welcome and anonymity will be preserved.

Please E.mail me to discuss.

BTW this is in relation to a Clinical Director, at the hospital that I work at, who is questioning the need for plume extractors.

Many thanks

PS introduced extractors following risk assessment, checking relevant legislation and research papers - I would just like some extra ammo to blast this particular doctor out of the water for good!!!

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#2 Posted : 22 August 2001 13:28:00(UTC)
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Posted By Alison Dando
It is refreshing to find that someone else has opened the same can of worms that I have!

Laser plume and surgical smoke from electro surgery according to American literature have almost identical ingredients i.e biological agents and carcinogenic particles and so both will deserve the same level of attention.

Looking at the hierachy in COSHH you won't be able to remove these surgical techniques or substitute them not unless you want to start a war with the surgeons!That means ventilation. Portable extract units are out there in the market place and it will mean contacting the suppliers of the relevant hospital equipment to source.Unfortunately in the past these were considered as extras - not today.It it upto them to puchase these.
Contact me on alisondando@bromor-tr.wales.nhs.uk and I will gladly send you alot of info. including a COSHH risk assessment that maybe of use. Yes the HSE will consider using the COSHH Regs. in answer to your query because of the contents of these plumes/smokes.
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#3 Posted : 22 August 2001 13:52:00(UTC)
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Posted By Bryn Maidment
Alison

Many thanks for the response. I personally can see the merit in sticking with the first bit of the COSHH hierarchy - elimination. Get rid of the patients - perfectly legit in my book!!

In a similar way to you I've done a large amount of slaving to get an initial batch of plume extractors on site, much to the joy of nursing staff. The opposition to finishing the job comes from an 'eminent' surgeon (eminent in his own mind) who is questioning the need. I'm not worried about the man, I have assessments galore and evidence of the risk (and it's on the Risk Register) but just wanted a little bit extra to put him firmly back into his box. Just wondered if anyone had actually felt the HSEs grip on their collar.

Incidentally, I've recommended NOT buying the second batch until I've investigated two 'newish' developments - harmonic scalpels and a small, cheap fitting that uses the wall mounted vacuum system. I've got the reps on their way in but anyone any experience of these items particularly with regard to plume?

Regards

Bryn

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#4 Posted : 22 August 2001 15:05:00(UTC)
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Posted By Alison Dando
Wouldn't mind the info on the singing scapels! In what key are they in? They could join in the chorus with the surgical team in theatre with "Them bones, them bones" etc.
Good luck,
Alison
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