Inhaled Anesthetics: Environmental Role, Occupational Risk, and Clinical Use

Mariana Gaya da Costa*, Alain F Kalmar, Michel M R F Struys

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

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Inhaled anesthetics have been in clinical use for over 150 years and are still commonly used in daily practice. The initial view of inhaled anesthetics as indispensable for general anesthesia has evolved during the years and, currently, its general use has even been questioned. Beyond the traditional risks inherent to any drug in use, inhaled anesthetics are exceptionally strong greenhouse gases (GHG) and may pose considerable occupational risks. This emphasizes the importance of evaluating and considering its use in clinical practices. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of worsening climate changes, control measures are very slowly implemented. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all society sectors, including the health sector to maximally decrease GHG emissions where possible. Within the field of anesthesia, the potential to reduce GHG emissions can be briefly summarized as follows: Stop or avoid the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) and desflurane, consider the use of total intravenous or local-regional anesthesia, invest in the development of new technologies to minimize volatile anesthetics consumption, scavenging systems, and destruction of waste gas. The improved and sustained awareness of the medical community regarding the climate impact of inhaled anesthetics is mandatory to bring change in the current practice.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's22
TijdschriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - 22-mrt-2021

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