Effects of Exposure to Surgical Smoke on Symptoms in Operating Room Staff: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Electrosurgical Smoke, Occupational Exposure, Occupational Hazard, Precaution, Surgical Smoke


Objective: Thanks to the rapid development of technology, the number of advanced equipment used in operating rooms is increasing, as in many areas. Although such equipment provides convenience, it also poses some risks for operating room staff and patients. The visible gas released into the environment because of the use of equipment such as electrocautery, laser, ultrasonic scalpel, drill, and saw for the purposes of hemostasis, dissection or excision during surgery is called surgical smoke, which might affect operating room staff negatively.

Material and Method: This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to determine the effect of smoke prevention measures on symptoms in operating room workers exposed to surgical smoke. Descriptive, cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies published between 2010-2021 were evaluated. Eligible studies were selected from the databases of CINAHL, MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar on December 21, 2021. Results of 8 studies (6 descriptive, 1 cross-sectional, 1 prospective cohort) were pooled.

Results: The analysis of pooled studies revealed that having knowledge of surgical smoke, presence of an evacuator, frequency of exposure, and the symptoms of headache, nausea, sore throat and burning eyes had a high positive effect on exposure to surgical smoke. Taking precautions against surgical smoke and the symptom of respiratory changes were found to have a negative effect on exposure to surgical smoke.

Conclusion: It was concluded that the incidence of symptoms of headache, nausea, sore throat and burning eyes increased in direct proportion to exposure to surgical smoke, and there was a decrease in respiratory changes because of the exposure. In addition, the exposure decreased as the knowledge level of the operating room workers increased, they took more precautions and they used smoke evacuation devices more, and the incidence of symptoms increased as the frequency of exposure to surgical smoke increased.


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How to Cite

KAPLAN AFACAN , Z., KORKMAZ, E., ÇINAR, F., & ETİ ASLAN, F. (2023). Effects of Exposure to Surgical Smoke on Symptoms in Operating Room Staff: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. GEVHER NESIBE JOURNAL OF MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, 8(2), 354–365. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7926831