Sibley Memorial Hospital Earns National Recognition for Safety in Surgery

Sibley Memorial Hospital has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures.
Sibley Memorial Hospital has earned the Go Clear Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to recognize health care facilities that have committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. Sibley earned its award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing and for providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

Surgical smoke is the unwanted by-product of energy-generating devices that are used in 90% of all surgeries. Its contents include toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, viruses, bacteria, blood and cancer cells. Inhalation and absorption of surgical smoke pose serious health risks to patients and surgical staff. Studies compare the inhalation of smoke from vaporized human tissue to the smoke created by cigarettes; the average daily impact of surgical smoke to the surgical team is equivalent to inhaling 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes. Today, it is estimated only 50% of health care workers across the U.S. understand the hazards of smoke exposure.

 “Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, M.S.N., R.N., C.N.O.R., N.E.A.-B.C., F.A.A.N., CEO and executive director of AORN. “With this award, Sibley is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”  

“We are very excited that Sibley has achieved this gold standard of recognition and has taken the steps to clear the air of surgical plume helping to create a healthy work environment for staff, physicians and patients,” said Darleen Dagey, M.S.N., R.N., N.P.D.-B.C., C.N.O.R., nursing professional development specialist, operating room, Sibley Memorial Hospital.

About Sibley Memorial Hospital

Sibley Memorial Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, in Northwest Washington, D.C., has a distinguished history of serving the community since its founding in 1890. As a not-for-profit, full-service, 318-bed community hospital, Sibley offers medical, surgical, intensive care, obstetric, oncology, orthopaedic, skilled nursing inpatient services, and a state-of-the-art 24-hour Emergency Department. Sibley’s campus, with its new patient tower, is also home to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Johns Hopkins National Proton Therapy Center, Grand Oaks -- an assisted living residence -- a medical building with physician offices and an ambulatory surgery and imaging center. For more information, visit

About AORN

AORN represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards, and practice resources—including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal—to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 40,000 registered nurse members manage, teach, and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education or are engaged in perioperative research.