Dunn, Lynda and Brown, Steven (2014) Diathermy smoke: a risk to perioperative practitioners? Journal of Operating Department Practitioners, 2 (7). pp. 320-322. ISSN 1746-7357

The use of diathermy as a cautery
device is common practice in
perioperative environment, however
issues relating to the health
and safety of the smoke produced through
the vaporisation of tissue may still not be
recognised by practitioners. This is despite
the use of diathermy dating back to the
late 19th century (Pollack et al, 2000).
Concerns have been expressed about the
components of diathermy smoke (Health
and Safety Executive (HSE), 2012), which
contains 95% water and 5% cellular debris
(Ulmer 2008), including a magnitude of
different chemicals, some of which may
have mutagenic and carcinogenic potential
similar to that of cigarette smoke (Ortolano
et al, 2009).

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