Smoke Evacuation Legislation Heard in Committee

Publish Date: April 19, 2017


Senate bill 643 was heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week where Rhode Island perioperative nurse, Theresa Plante, RN, BSN, CNOR, and AORN Government Affairs Manager, Danielle Glover, MPA, provided testimony on the need for surgical smoke evacuation policies. Committee members were very engaged in the testimony and asked thoughtful questions. The bill is being held in committee for further study. 

Last month, the House Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Committee heard the companion bill to S 643, House bill 5324, which was also held for further study along with all bills heard that day in HEW. Senator Cynthia Coyne is the primary sponsor of S. 643. She is familiar with the roles of perioperative nurses as she sponsored the successful legislation last year requiring an RN Circulator in every OR. Representative Joseph McNamara, who toured the exhibit hall at the 2017 Global Surgical Conference and Expo in Boston earlier this month and chairs the HEW Committee, is the House bill sponsor.

Raising awareness of the dangers of surgical smoke and the ease with which it can be evacuated is essential to pushing for the elimination of surgical smoke.  AORN Government Affairs will continue to advocate for this legislation and provide updates on its progression. If you are interested in helping with this bill or want to learn how to become involved in legislative efforts in your state, please contact Danielle Glover at dglover@aorn.org.