News: FUSE Training Program Aims to Reduce OR Fires, Enhance Safe Use of Surgical Devices

FUSE Training Program Aims to Reduce OR Fires, Enhance Safe Use of Surgical Devices

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The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has launched the Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy™ (FUSE) training program. Designed to fill a gap in surgical education, the program educates surgeons and affiliated staff about the safe use of surgical energy-based devices in the operating room, endoscopic suite, and other procedural areas.

“One safety issue the FUSE program addresses is surgical fires, which occur several hundred times in the United States annually,” said Dr. Daniel B. Jones, chair of the FUSE Task Force. “It is important to note that approximately two-thirds of these OR fires involve electrosurgical equipment.”

The gap in OR safety prompted the U.S Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to initiate the “Preventing Surgical Fires.” Around that time, SAGES formed the FUSE Task Force, with participation by experts from the Association of peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN), the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and American Urological Association, to tackle the problem from a didactic perspective.

“We needed this collaboration to evaluate our professional perspectives on fire safety,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, executive director and CEO of AORN. “In the OR, the surgeon provides the heat source, the anesthesiologist provides the gases, and the nurse controls the fuel. Now we share a common educational platform with a complete understanding of each other’s role. Cross-functional education and shared curriculum lead to better outcomes in surgery and a safer environment for the healthcare professionals.”

The FUSE training program includes an interactive, web-based, multimedia-enhanced didactic curriculum available free online at www.fundamentals- It covers fundamental principles of electrosurgical devices, practical aspects of commonly used energy devices in various settings, integration of energy systems with other devices, as well as prevention of operating room fires. A FUSE certification exam is also an integral part of the program.

“Today’s launch of FUSE comes on the heels of the 10th anniversary of SAGES Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery™ (FLS) program,” said Dr. L. Michael Brunt, SAGES president. “Our experience with FLS paved the way for the creation of FUSE, a critical tool that should be part of any formal OR training,” Dr. Brunt said.

The FUSE program applies to practicing surgeons regardless of specialty, surgical nurses, and other allied health personnel who work in the operating room and other procedural areas.  Testing for the FUSE certification exam will be available at regional FUSE Test Centers, the SAGES Annual Meeting, the ACS Clinical Congress, and specially designated FUSE testing events. For more information about the FUSE program, visit