The 2024 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 99, Health Care Facilities Code, is introducing new changes to address the management of surgical smoke in light of growing concerns with exposure risks.
Section 9.3.8 of the updated NFPA 99 will require healthcare organizations to capture surgical smoke as close as possible to the point of generation (i.e., where the energy device contacts the tissue). Organizations may use a dedicated local exhaust ventilation system, connection to return or exhaust duct after air cleaning through ultra-low particulate air (ULPA) and gas phase filtration (e.g., activated carbon), a surgical smoke evacuation tool at the point of use, or (for small amounts of surgical smoke plume) a medical-surgical vacuum system with an in-line filter with ULPA and gas filtration. These controls are separate from whole-room smoke evacuation, intended for smoke generated from a fire.
Organizations are encouraged to review the new NFPA standards and ensure they are in alignment. Expect that this may be a renewed focus during regulatory surveys.
Please contact Courtemanche and Associates for questions or assistance in maintaining continuous survey readiness at 704-573-4535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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