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Franklin Memorial Hospital Earns National Recognition for Safety in Surgery

October 29, 2020

Media Contacts:

Franklin Memorial Hospital
Jill Gray
207-779-2555

AORN:
Gayle Davis
gdavis@aorn.org

FARMINGTON, Maine—Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) 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. FMH 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, Franklin Memorial Hospital, is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”

Franklin Memorial Hospital is just the second hospital in the state of Maine to earn this distinction. We are very proud of this honor as it signifies our commitment to safety, to both the patients and staff here in the operating room at FMH.

About AORN
AORN represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards, and practice resources—including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal—to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 40,000 registered nurse members manage, teach, and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education or are engaged in perioperative research.

About Franklin Community Health
Greater Franklin County is tucked in the beautiful western mountain foothills of Maine, one of the most spectacular places in New England. This quaint, four-season region offers numerous opportunities for its 40,000 residents, including a nationally-acclaimed health care system, pristine lakes, panoramic views and bustling downtowns with a distinct local flavor. The region's health care is served by Franklin Community Health Network, a locally controlled, nonprofit, integrated network of rural health care providers, created by Franklin Memorial Hospital in 1991. Affiliates include Franklin Memorial Hospital and Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County. We have been part of the MaineHealth family since October 2014. Our mission is to work cooperatively with others to achieve the highest level of health and wellness possible for the people of West Central Maine.

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