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Nurses, Doctors Report Health Issues Tied to Surgical Smoke

Headache, watery eyes, and cough reported by large percentage of respondents

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Nurses and doctors commonly report problems as a result of surgical smoke exposure, but they do not take effective protective measures, according to a study published online June 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Arzu Ilce, from Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey, and colleagues described problems experienced by 81 nurses and doctors as a result of exposure to surgical smoke. The study was conducted from April to June 2015.

The researchers found that problems reported as a result of surgical smoke exposure included headache (nurses, 48.9 percent; doctors, 58.3 percent); watering of the eyes (nurses, 40 percent; doctors, 41.7 percent); and cough (nurses, 48.9 percent; doctors, 27.8 percent). Other reported problems included sore throat, bad odors absorbed in the hair, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, sneezing, and rhinitis. The majority of nurses and doctors reported using surgical masks as a precaution (91.1 percent and 86.1 percent, respectively).

“Although most of the participants were aware of the lack of smoke evacuation systems (69.1 percent), filtration (63 percent), and a protocol (63 percent), it was found that they did not take any effective precautions, and only a few nurses used special filtration masks,” write the authors.

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