Changing Anaesthetic Gases at Western Health
The gases used as anaesthetics have similar clinical effects and can be interchanged, although each has a markedly different global warming potential.
A program by Western Health helped convert anaesthetists’ choice of anaesthetic agent from desflurane and nitrous oxide to sevoflurane and propofol where clinically possible, to reduce greenhouse impacts and achieve financial savings. Actions included endorsement of a policy, removing desflurane from the anaesthetics trolley and presentations to educate staff.
In 2017, the equivalent to 181 tonnes of CO2e was avoided and approximately $77,000 was saved.