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Overlook Medical Center recognized for eliminating smoke in surgeries

SUMMIT, NJ (Union County) – Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center recently announced that it has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures.

Overlook Medical Center was one of only three hospitals in New Jersey to receive the award.

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.

During surgery, there are several instances in which a small amount of smoke may be generated, such as when a surgeon needs to use special instruments to cauterize blood vessels or tissue, or when other devices utilize heat as part of their normal function.

Overlook Medical Center 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.

“Safety and quality are our top priority and eliminating smoke from our operating spaces is a huge advance in protecting our patients as well as the surgical team caring for them” said Jillian Carratala, MBA, BSN, RN, director of surgical services at Overlook Medical Center. “Our commitment toward safety is truly a team effort between nursing, patient care partners, surgeons and our anesthesia partners.”

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices that are used in 90 percent of all surgeries. Its contents can include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke can pose serious health risks to patients and surgical staff.

“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, Overlook is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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