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Will shifting from desflurane to sevoflurane make anesthesia go Green? The answer appears to be yes as per Dr Brian Chesebro in Portland, Oregon in the US.
Dr Brian says that the amount of global warming each procedure contributes to the environment can be reduced by just using sevoflurane in most surgeries, instead of desflurane.
Sevoflurane is a very commonly used anesthesia gas in most surgeries. Other gases used as desflurane, nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.
Only about 5% of the anesthesia gas used is metabolized, the rest is exhaled. The exhaled gas is sucked into a ventilation system and then up and out through the roof, to mix with other greenhouse gases.
Compared to sevoflurane, desflurane is 20 times more potent in trapping heat in the atmosphere. And, while sevoflurane breaks down in just one year, desflurane remains for 14 years in the atmosphere. The overall impact of anesthetic agents on global warming may be low but every inch is important.
Comments on this story, especially from my anesthesia friends and colleagues are welcome.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA