ALLIANCE — Box Butte General Hospital announced today that it has earned the Go Clear Award™ 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) to recognize health care facilities that have committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. BBGH earned its award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing and for providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices that are used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke pose 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. Today, it is estimated only 50% of health care workers across the U.S. understand the hazards of smoke exposure.

“Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO/Executive Director of AORN. “With this award, Box Butte General Hospital is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

Kaitlyn Stabnow, RN, BBGH Clinical Nurse Manager is honored to receive this recognition for the surgical staff. “Our staff works diligently to create a safe environment for surgical procedures. We are committed to the safety of our healthcare community. Continuing education and research is a standard for our staff and without the dedication of our surgical team we would not be receiving this award.”

Lori Mazanec, CEO stated, “Box Butte General Hospital continues to advance our mission to lead and innovate in healthcare delivery and community wellness. As an organization we understand the need to invest in staff wellness and safety. This award gives recognition to the team living our mission and assisting in reaching our vision to be the greatest place to receive care, to work, and to practice medicine. “

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