In a development that may have you undergo your next medical procedure the old-fashioned way, two researchers from the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Oslo are reporting that inhaled anesthetics significantly contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer and add to the overall global warming gas content in the atmosphere.
Moreover, the study’s authors conclude with some valuable advice for your own practice: “From our calculations, avoiding N2O and unnecessarily high fresh gas flow rates can reduce the environmental impact of inhaled anesthetics.”
We’d like to venture even further. Not only would we recommend closed-circuit, low-flow anesthesia even with sevoflurane (damn those kidneys!), we’d also suggest that patients arrive by bicycle or, if absolutely necessary, a biodiesel-powered ambulance.
Press release: Study Shows Global Warming Impact of Anesthetics …
Abstract in Anesthesia & Analgesia: Global Warming Potential of Inhaled Anesthetics: Application to Clinical Use
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*