A better operating climate
The World Medical Association has declared a climate emergency and called for carbon neutrality by 2030. One of the many details that must be addressed is an eco-conscious approach to anaesthesia. The problem lies in the use of anaesthetic gases.
Text Isabell Spilker Photos Redaktion 4 (via Shutterstock and iStock)
Operating rooms can contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. Anaesthetic gases are at the forefront of these efforts, since one-third of a hospital’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the use of inhaled anaesthetics.
Strictly speaking, anesthetics are not gases at all, but volatile agents that evaporate at low temperatures. This evaporation can be controlled in special vapors. Each anesthetic gas has advantages and disadvantages and is chosen and adjusted based on the needs of the patient.
The optimal anesthetic gas quickly washes in and takes effect within the body. At the same time, it should also be capable of washing out again quickly as soon as the anesthesia has ended. The most common agents are sevoflurane, desflurane, and isoflurane.
“Younger anaesthetists are in favour of the change and anesthetise patients according to the ‘flow as low as they can go’ principle.”
Professor Dr Manuel Wenk I, Chief Physician at the Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management at the Florence Nightingale Hospital, Düsseldorf
Connecting medical products also opens the door to new analyses and optimisation. Dräger Connect helps medical teams work in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
“We owe it to society to work on minimizing our carbon footprint.”
Professor Jeffrey Feldman I Clinical Anaesthesiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, United States