02/14/2008

Waste Anesthetic Gases - Occupational Hazards in Hospitals

Waste anesthetic gases are small amounts of volatile anesthetic gases that leak
from the patient's anesthetic breathing circuit into the air of operating rooms
during delivery of anesthesia. These gases may also be exhaled by patients
recovering from anesthesia. Waste anesthetic gases include both nitrous oxide
and halogenated anesthetics such as halothane, enflurane, isoflurane,
desflurane, sevoflurane, and methoxyflurane (no longer used in the United
States). The halogenated anesthetics are often administered in combination with
nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide and some of the halogenated anesthetics may pose a
hazard to hospital workers.

The purpose of the brochure, published by the US-American Institute of
Occuaptional Safety and Health is to do the following:


  • Increase awareness about the adverse health effects of waste anesthetic gases

  • Describe how workers are exposed to waste anesthetic gases

  • Recommend work practices to reduce these exposures

  • Identify methods to minimize leakage of anesthetic gases into the work
    environment


The brochure covers the following topics:


  • Who is exposed to waste anesthetic gases?

  • What are the health effects of exposure to waste anesthetic gases?

  • Where are workers most likely to be exposed to waste anesthetic gases?

  • How can employers reduce worker exposures to waste anesthetic gases?

  • How can operating-room personnel reduce their exposures to waste anesthetic
    gases?


More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute of Occuaptional Safety and Health