Articles  |   December 2019
Is It Time for Low-Flow Anesthesia? Gone Green Yet?
Article Information
Pharmacology / Articles
Articles   |   December 2019
Is It Time for Low-Flow Anesthesia? Gone Green Yet?
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 34-36.
ASA Monitor 12 2019, Vol.83, 34-36.
Several articles are being published highlighting contributions of various health care sectors to global warming.1  The articles mention that while the health care sector is not the highest polluter, it is still a significant contributor to the carbon footprint. From manufacturing and acquisition of medical supplies to keeping the power running in hospitals for patient care, every aspect of the industry has been identified as a contributor to this carbon footprint. Current data suggest the U.S. health care sector contributes 10 percent of the nation’s greenhouse effect. Anesthetic gases have been identified as a contributor of both hydrofluorocarbon and chlorofluorocarbon, but these gases are not included in the Paris Climate Accord, Kyoto or Montreal protocols because patient care comes first. Inhalation agents like nitrous oxide and isoflurane are included in the list of essential medications by the World Health Organization. While these medical gases are not bound by the Paris Climate Accord, Kyoto or Montreal protocol, there have been efforts made to reduce the carbon footprint of anesthesia gases. Scope 1 and Scope 2 of the Greenhouse gas protocol (a Geneva-based coalition of 170 international companies, launched in 1998), when modified, have suggestions for providing green anesthesia, such as decreasing the use of nitrous oxide and desflurane, use of regional anesthesia, and low-flow anesthesia whenever possible.2  Modern day anesthesia practice should actually be driven by environmental, patient and economic-related benefits to encourage the use of low-flow anesthesia. In fact, hospitals could save up to $500,000 per year with the use of low-flow anesthesia.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment

Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest. Comments are moderated.

Name
Affiliation & Institution
I have a potential conflict of interest
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
ASA Member Login or Create an Account ×