Trenton – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Fred Madden that would require health care facilities to adopt and implement policies to prevent exposure to surgical smoke through the use of a smoke evacuation system.
The bill, S-732, would require health care facilities to adopt and implement policies to prevent exposure to surgical smoke via use of a smoke evacuation system. To align with the Assembly version, the committee adopted amendments that would exempt long-term care facilities and providers of adult medical day care services from the requirements of the bill.
“Exposure to surgical smoke is fairly short-term for patients, however, surgeons, nurses and other staff are exposed to it on a daily basis,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden), Vice Chair of the Senate Health, Human Service and Senior Citizens Committee. “For nurses that work in a high pressure environment, surgical smoke exposure can cause upper respiratory irritation and create visual problems, affecting their ability to administer proper care. Extended exposure can result in long-term consequences for nursing staff. Taking precautionary steps will decrease further exposure and unnecessary risk.”
In June 2018, Rhode Island became the first state to enact legislation to ensure that all hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgery centers use a smoke evacuation system for relevant surgical procedures. Colorado became the second state to do the same in March 2019.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 8-0.