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Safety and Complications


ASLMS recognizes the critical need for the implementation of safety measures and appropriate training for physicians and staff performing procedures with lasers and related energy-based devices.

David McDaniel, MD, ASLMS Board Safety Representative, was approved to serve as alternate representative for the ASLMS on the American National Standards institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee Z136.  David Sliney, PhD, ASLMS Director of Safety is the primary representative. 

ASC Z136 is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee for the Z136 series of laser safety standards. These standards are the United States national consensus standards for laser safety. Developed and maintained by the committee, the standards describe maximum permissible exposures to lasers along with required engineering and administrative control measures, including methodologies for properly assessing the hazards associated with exposure to lasers and laser systems.


David McDaniel, MD


David Sliney, PhD

ANSI Z136.3

ASLMS members have been actively involved in developing the recommended guidelines for safe use of lasers in health care, known as American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care, ANSI Z136.3. The standard was last revised in 2012.

Revision of ANSI Standard Z136.3 (pdf) 

ANSI Z136.3 Standard Update
Patricia A. Owens, RN, MHA, CMLSO provides a recap of the changes made in 2012 to the American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care.

Laser Plumes and Safety

The ASLMS Laser Safety Committee reports on the hazards of vaporized tissue plume and offers safety recommendations.

ASLMS Laser and Energy Device Plume Position Statement

Laws and regulations of laser operation in the United States

Published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, this Clinical Report presents an overview of the laws and regulations of laser operation in each of the 50 states. 


The laws and regulations governing laser operation in the United States are vague, complex, and vary state‐to‐state. The objective of this study is to present an overview of the laws and regulations of laser operation in each of the 50 states. We performed an extensive online search of the law in each of the 50 states by examining multiple state cosmetology boards, state legislative boards, state nursing boards, and state medical boards. Laser regulations are best divided into three categories: delegation, supervision, and operation. Our findings demonstrate the complicated nature of the regulations covering this issue and identify a lack of regulation in numerous states.

Free access to full article

Laser Litigation, Lawsuits, and Avoiding Complications

ASLMS offers education on complications and legal issues at the Annual Conference. In addition, members provide periodic video updates on these topics. 

Laser Litigation
Mathew Avram, MD, JD talks about 3 common reasons for lawsuits involving lasers.

Avoiding Complications with Lasers
Mathew Avram, MD, JD discusses avoiding complications with lasers by methodology, technology and to treat and recognize complications.

Lasers and Lawsuits
Mathew Avram, MD, JD discusses potential legal issues surrounding the use of laser technology.

Lasers, Lawsuits & HIPAA
H. Ray Jalian, MD discusses the increase in litigation involving injuries from laser surgery performed by non-physician operators in a non-medical setting.

The views expressed and materials presented in these videos represent the personal views of the individual speaker(s) and do not represent the opinion of the ASLMS. The ASLMS assumes no responsibility for the content of the videos made by the speaker or group of speakers.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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