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Mebane surgery center cuts through the smoke

The MedCenter Mebane Surgery Center operated by Cone Health was recently recognized for working to make surgeries safer for patients and staff by reducing or removing a hazard called surgical smoke.

The award recognizes practices that eliminate smoke caused by using lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. Such devices are used in 90 percent of all surgeries.

The devices can generate smoke that includes toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke poses serious health risks to patients and surgical staff.

Studies compare the inhalation of smoke from vaporized human tissue to the smoke created by cigarettes; the average daily impact of surgical smoke to the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes.

MedCenter Mebane Surgery Center earned the "Go Clear" award by undergoing surgical smoke education and using equipment to remove surgical smoke during smoke-generating procedures.