Health hazards: Removal of electrosurgery plume and surgical smoke

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Each year, an estimated 500,000 workers, including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgical technologists, are exposed to laser or electrosurgical smoke.3

Common workplaces that utilize lasers for medical procedures include: hospitals, clinics, dental clinics, veterinary clinics, laboratories, and cosmetic treatment clinics.

During surgical procedures that use a laser or electrosurgical unit, the thermal destruction of tissue creates a smoke byproduct.1

It is known that this smoke can contain several harmful contaminants that shouldn’t be inhaled.

Electrosurgery Plume Contaminants Health Hazards




Blood fragments

Carbon monoxide


Fine dusts


Hydrogen cyanide



Polyaromatic hydrocarbons


Human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Upper respiratory irritation (eye, nose and throat)

In-vitro mutagenic potential

Potential for generating infectious viral fragments


Reducing exposure

Model 200 Medical Sentry for Podiatry Practice

Model 200 Medical Sentry for Podiatry Practice

There are currently no specific OSHA standards for laser/electrosurgery plume hazards.3

However, several medical boards and organizations agree that as a best practice during electrosurgery or medical laser use, vaporized tissue should be evacuated using a smoke extraction system equipped with either ULPA or HEPA filtration.

Smoke Evacuators

Sentry Air Systems offers several varieties of portable smoke extractors for medical laser plume removal.

Our most popular units are the Model 300 Medical Sentry and Model 300 Portable Floor Sentry.

If a procedure requires the use of multiple smoke extraction points simultaneously, our Model 300 Dual Sentry and Model 300 Quad Sentry offer two and four arm options respectively.

All of our 300 Series units offer up to 350 CFM with a Variable Speed Control knob to adjust airflow. These units are quiet, compact, easily portable, and offer plug-and-play operation.

We also offer a smaller Model 200 Floor Sentry (up to 100 CFM) and a larger Model 400/450 Portable Floor Sentry (up to 700/950 CFM).

Electro ProductsOur flexible extraction arms have an internal stiffener bar that helps hold several different bends and angles. Simply position the capture hood near the laser plume and turn the unit on. This “hands-free” operation allows surgical operators and technicians to focus on their tasks and not worry about holding an extraction hose in place.

Each of the units mentioned above are available with either ULPA or HEPA filter media. Our ULPA filters are rated up to 99.9995% efficient on particles 0.12 microns and larger. Our HEPA filters are rated up to 99.97% efficient on particles 0.3 microns and larger.


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For more information about electrosurgery plume and surgical smoke removal, contact one of our technical sales reps at 800.799.4609, email, visit our website or fill out the feedback form below.