Smoke Evacuation in the OR

Surgical Smoke Evacuator OR-VAC

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) have recently published Recommendations regarding Surgical Response to COVID-19 ( In order to reduce the risk of virus spread with carbon dioxide (CO2) during laparoscopy, the use of devices to filter the released CO2 is recommended.

The SARS-CoV-2 RNA virus has been reported to have a size of 0.06-0.14 microns1 (HIV virus 0.12 microns2, HPV virus 0.055 microns3, hepatitis C 0.06 microns4). Ultra low particulate air (ULPA) filters have been proven to capture airborne particles down to 0.1 microns at 99.999% efficiency.

However, based on the published data on HIV viruses, HPV and hepatitis C, the capture of even sub-0.1 micron particles is possible.

As it employs a ULPA filter, the OLYMPUS OR-VAC Smoke Evacuator can help to mitigate possible infectious transmission associated with exposure to surgical smoke during surgery.

A complete elimination of risk is however not possible.

1 China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, Zhao X, Huang B, Shi W, Lu R, Niu P, Zhan F, Ma X, Wang D, Xu W, Wu G, Gao GF, Tan W. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 20;382(8):727-733.
2 Fisher, Bruce; Harvey, Richard P.; Champe, Pamela C. (2007). Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Microbiology. Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7817-8215-9.
3 IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Human Papillomaviruses. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2007. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 90.) 1, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection. Available from:
4 Hepatitis C virus — proteins, diagnosis, treatment and new approaches for vaccine development. Hossein Keyvani, Mehdi Fazlalipour, Seyed Hamid, Reza Monavari, Hamid Reza Mollaie. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012; 13(12): 5931-5949.

Wearing PPE protects you against transmission of pathogens during reprocessing. Ensure the correct use of personnel protective equipment (PPE), especially to protect mucosa in mouth, nose, and eyes from getting into contact with aerosols/droplets. For specific guidance on appropriate PPE in the case of COVID-19 as well as the correct donning and removal, please refer to national and global guidance such as from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Endoscopy Organization (WEO), or ESGENA (European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates).

Sample guidance for donning and removing personal protective equipment (PPE)