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Smoke Evacuation Legislation Passes RI Senate

Publish Date: June 14, 2017

As previously reported, AORN Government Affairs Manager, Danielle Glover, and Rhode Island AORN members testified in support of companion bills requiring facilities to adopt of policies requiring the evacuation of surgical smoke.  The bills were held for further study in both the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee. Earlier this month, AORN worked with stakeholders and the bill sponsors to amend the language. The two bills were then passed out each committee. The Senate bill S 643 Sub A, was brought to the floor June 8, where it passed 34-0. The House version in on the House Calendar for June 15.

Health care providers working in Rhode Island operating rooms are encouraged to contact their legislator today urging them to support H 5324 Sub A when it comes to the floor. It is imperative that perioperative nurses take an active role in promoting this workplace safety legislation.

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