Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Patient Experience - June 2019 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 94 of 112

• If our healthcare system were a country, it would rank 13 th in the world for greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately, capturing and evacuating waste anesthetic gas in the OR is not an environmentally friendly option. OSHA regulations that call for protecting surgical team members from exposure to inhalation- al anesthetics by mandating the use of scavenger systems don't go far enough. "The systems suction waste gas out of the room, but often send it up through vents on facility roofs and out into the atmosphere in unregu- lated amounts," says Jodi Sherman, MD, director of sustainability and the department of anesthesia at Yale-New Haven Health System in New Haven, Conn. What can you do to go green with anesthesia gases? Here are 3 straightforward interventions. • Sevoflurane instead of desflurane. Desflurane and nitrous oxide have the highest potential impact on global warming. When it comes to reducing how much gas is distributed into the environment, Dr. Sherman says minimizing or avoiding the use of desflurane and nitrous oxide is the most effective. Desflurane is also the most expensive of the inhalational agents. Anesthesia providers might not be aware of those drawbacks associ- ated with desflurane and, besides, patients who receive the anesthetic emerge faster and recover more quickly — factors that are said to off- set the additional cost of the agent. However, improved clinical efficiencies have not been definitely linked to desflurane in the literature, says Dr. Sherman. Plus, you can replicate the positive properties of desflurane with other agents. "It's not an essential drug," says Dr. Sherman. "No matter which anesthetic you use, you can titrate the drug to wake up patients as quickly as pos- sible." J U N E 2 0 1 9 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 9 5

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