Smoke evacuation is reducing the spread of viruses

Smoke evacuation is reducing the spread of viruses


– The coronavirus pandemic has heightened our awareness regarding the positive effects smoke evacuation systems have on the overall safety for our health professionals working in operating theatres. In contrast to evacuation systems that recirculate the air into the room, our solution will protect staff from virus and bacteria.

Technical manager at Medicvent, Björn Petterson, has also been noticing an increase in surgeries over a number of European hospitals. As a consequence, the demand for Medicvent’s smoke evacuation system is increasing.

Before we begin: There is not yet sufficient research concerning how the coronavirus is spread during a surgery with laser or during electrosurgery. The scientific research available today (see below) do suggest, however, that if the operating theatre does not possess the correct evacuation system, the coronavirus will spread during surgical procedures.

– Some patients infected with Covid-19 have had the virus in their blood. There is plenty of research suggesting that various viruses spread through surgical smoke, which makes it highly probable that the coronavirus will do the same, Björn Pettersson says.


More surgeries

During most of the pandemic, non-critical surgeries have been cancelled temporarily. Now, there is an increase in surgeries once again, resulting in an amplified demand for consumables. Medicvent is expected to deliver the same quantities of disposable filters for surgical plume as they did before the pandemic.

– The awareness amongst health professionals – and all around our society – regarding how viruses are spread has definitely improved during this pandemic. As a consequence, staff working in an environment where the coronavirus could possibly spread have higher demands for their own and other’s safety. This is where we come into the picture, Björn Petterson states.


A unique solution

Simply put, via Medicvent’s solution, an evacuation point is activated as soon as a surgical instrument is put to use, and it does not stop evacuating the smoke until a few seconds after the instrument is turned off. From there, the air goes into a system which filters and cleans the air until it is finally evacuated from the property. In new buildings, this solution is almost always present.

– Our solution is, in short, similar to a central vacuum system. Other evacuation systems are best compared to that of a regular vacuum cleaner. Since the beginning of 2000, when we first introduced our smoke evacuation system, we have calibrated it and made it more powerful as well as silent and, at the same time, energy-saving. In 2014 we helped develop the first international ISO for evacuation of surgical smoke: ISO 16571. Now, I have been given the opportunity to take part in the making of the ISO update, as a technical expert. At this point, having a pandemic perspective will be inevitable.


More silent

Except for greater safety, Medicvent’s solution has the advantage of being installed outside of the operating theatre, making for a more silent working environment.

– We have been given a higher number of requests for evacuation of surgical smoke – as well as hazardous gases from anesthesia – and it is not surprising. Our solution is incredibly effective and when you keep the different mutations of the virus in mind, I do understand why everyone wants to protect themselves, especially the health professionals.


Further reading

A study in US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, about the risks with surgical smoke and the importance of using the correct evacuation system during the pandemic. Introduction as follows:

Many surgeons are unaware of the risks posed by the surgical diathermy. Apart from the numerous chemicals, surgical smoke had been shown to harbour intact bacterial and virus particles especially COVID-19 in the current time.’

It is time for a more cautious approach to surgical diathermy, especially in COVID-19 outbreak: A schematic review (





– When building new estates today, you would normally choose a central smoke evacuation system, to minimize the risks for spreading the virus in operating theatres. At the same time, the air quality will improve drastically, technical manager at Medicvent, Björn Pettersson, says.